CILIP IL Group at the Media Literacy conference – University of Riga, Latvia

Funded by the British Council and invited by the Latvian Ministry of Culture, Dr Jane Secker, chair of the CILIP Information Literacy Group, attended the Media Literacy conference: ‘Challenges of media literacy: from first graders to seniors, from advice webpages to politics’ at the University of Riga, Latvia on 24th April 2017.

The Latvian Ministry of Culture is investing in a curriculum review across schools and universities in the country to look at how to embed ‘media literacy’. Jane was invited to speak by Klinta Ločmele, Expert at the Media Literacy Policy unit in the Latvia Ministry of Culture and was returning a visit to Latvia. Klinta was one of ten delegates from Latvia who had already visited CILIP and the Information Literacy Group earlier this year. According to Klinta, the conference in Riga was contribution to development of media literacy in Latvia by popularizing this topic and causing to think more about the information and media consumption habits and trust in the content of information with which we face every day not only in various forms of media, bet as well in advertisements, rumours etc. In Latvia the project of competencies-based education model is being elaborated right now, and the discussions during the conference also touched this issue – the necessity, possibilities and ways how to become more media literate.

Representing the CILIP IL Group, Jane delivered a lecture: ‘Digital and Information Literacy in Education: a perspective from the UK‘ and also participated in a panel discussion on ‘how media literacy helps to live better’. The conference was attended by 130 people, many of whom were Communications Science students from the university, who were very enthusiastic and asked lots of questions!

Photos of the conference

This event was part of a series of four conferences that formed part of a project targeted to spreading information about media literacy. The audience consisted of journalists, librarians, representatives of local governments, employees of education system, as well lecturers and students of universities.

  1. April 4: University of Liepaja: “Media literacy from the first letters to the smart devices and TV remote controls: the role of parents, teachers and journalist in its strengthening”with participation* by prof. Julian McDougall (Bournemouth University)
  2. April 10, Rezekne Academy of Technologies: “The role of teachers and journalists in development of media literacy in the border area with Russiawith participation of Dr. Steve Connolly (University of Bedfordshire)
  3. April 11, Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences: “Media literacy in a digital world: the sign posts for those who click”with participation of Dr. Steve Connolly (University of Bedfordshire)
  4. April 24, University of Latvia: “Challenges of media literacy: from first graders to seniors, from advice webpages to politics”with participation of Dr. Jane Secker (City, University of London)

The cycle of 4 conferences brought together 317 people and the conferences in Rezekne, Valmiera and Riga were transmitted online as live video. Each conference consisted of three parts: guest lecture conducted by British media literacy expert, sharing experience on media literacy development in United Kingdom, three to four presentations of Latvian researchers, media professionals and stakeholders in development of media literacy, focusing on Latvian case, followed by panel discussion with participation of British media literacy experts and high audience involvement.

With thanks to Klinta Ločmele for her contribution to this post.  

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