The Ukrainian government will work on the development of media literacy skills of Ukrainian during the next 10 years. The experts who participated in the conference “Media literacy in wartimes: New Challenges and Transformation” noted that it was necessary to unite the efforts of the governmental institutions, non-governmental organizations, media and development partners.
“Media literacy is the basis of democracy. I also think that this is a requirement for every citizen”, Nemo Hernström, head of strategic communications at the Swedish Psychological Defense Agency, noted during the “Media Literacy in the Time of War: New Challenges and Transformations” conference, organized by Filter and the Ukrainian Media and Communication Institute.
Adherence to democratic values, widely shared by Ukrainian society, requires a systematic approach to the development of media literacy skills, long-term planning and partnership with various institutions and projects. During the war, critical thinking has become a skill that saves Ukrainian citizens from Russian propaganda and enables them to protect themselves and their loved ones.
However, the share of those who have a high level of media literacy is insufficient. Hanna Krasnostup, Director of the Directorate for Information Policy and Information Security of the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy, noted that according to the research, made in 2021, this indicator was 54%. However, the state has an understanding of how this level can be increased.
“We have created a 10-year plan for the recovery of Ukraine that covers all spheres of public life. The document determines that the number of people with a high and higher than average level of media literacy should be 65% by 2032. This result can be achieved by the coordinated work of all institutes and development partners”, she noted.
According to Hanna Krasnostup, implementation of the National media literacy project “Filter” is one of the priorities of this plan: “The draft plan envisages a number of activities, including the implementation of Filter project, which should take place during these 10 years.”
Long-term efforts make it possible to achieve large-scale goals that lead to qualitative changes in society. Taras Shevchenko, Deputy Minister of Culture and Information Policy, noted that the Ministry, with the beginning of the term of the Minister of Culture Oleksandr Tkachenko in 2020, identified media literacy as a priority direction:
“Media literacy is one of the key, strategically important topics for the Ministry of Culture and Information Policy. Media literacy is a long-term story.”
In the wartimes, the dynamism and flexibility of media literacy organizations also play a significant role. For a certain period, the delivery of quick solutions became a priority for Filter:
“After the full-scale Russian invasion, the ability to verify information became a vital skill. The war forced us to skip the stage of raising awareness and go straight to changing people’s behaviour. That’s why we promptly started organising quick lessons and fact-checking training for various audiences both in Ukraine and abroad,” Valeria Kovtun, head of Filter, underlined.