IGF 2021 WS #144 Framework- Media and Information Literacy in Digital Spaces

Time
Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (15:50 UTC) - Thursday, 9th December, 2021 (17:20 UTC)
Room
Conference Room 1+2

Organizer 1: Alton Grizzle, UNESCO
Organizer 2: Jing Xu, UNESCO
Organizer 3: Hana Achargui, UNESCO
Organizer 4: Taoufik Jelassi, UNESCO

Speaker 1: Silvia Bacher, Founder, Las Otras Voces, Member of the UNESCO Media, and Information Literacy Alliance 
Speaker 2: Vera Jourova, Vice President and Commissioner, European Commission 
Speaker 3: Sinéad McSweeney, Global Vice President of Public Policy, Twitter 
Speaker 4: Samia Bibars, Minister Plenipotentiary and Director, Monitoring & Crisis Management Department Media & Information Sector (Speaking on behalf of the Secretary General of the Arab League) 
Speaker 5: Clair Deevy, Director of Global Policy Programs, WhatsApp
Speaker 6: Sonia Gill, Secretary General, Caribbean Broadcasting Union 
Speaker 7: XiaoLan Liu, Vice General Manager, Corporate Marketing and Public Relations, Tencent Group 

Moderator

Alton Grizzle, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Online Moderator

Taoufik Jelassi, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Rapporteur

Jing Xu, Intergovernmental Organization, Intergovernmental Organization

Format

Panel - Auditorium - 90 Min

Policy Question(s)

Digital policy and human rights frameworks: What is the relationship between digital policy and development and the established international frameworks for civil and political rights as set out in the Universal Declaration on Human Rights and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and further interpretation of these in the online context provided by various resolutions of the Human Rights Council? How do policy makers and other stakeholders effectively connect these global instruments and interpretations to national contexts? What is the role of different local, national, regional and international stakeholders in achieving digital inclusion that meets the requirements of users in all communities?
Inclusion, rights and stakeholder roles and responsibilities: What are/should be the responsibilities of governments, businesses, the technical community, civil society, the academic and research sector and community-based actors with regard to digital inclusion and respect for human rights, and what is needed for them to fulfil these in an efficient and effective manner?

There is an opportunity to stimulate multi-stakeholder cooperation for media and information literacy in digital spaces as a means to bolster inclusive internet governance. The current health crisis has created a state of general isolation and underscored the unprecedented necessity of and dependence on the digital sphere of information, social networks, and the internet in general. Social and economic implications have arisen giving the growing phenomenon of disinfodemic by either a lack of access to information or media and information literacy competencies to critically evaluate information. However there is a lack of systemize multi-stakeholder cooperation among private companies including digital communication companies, governments, civil society, the academic and research sector and community-based actors to promote media and information in digital spaces. Media and information literacy helps users of online platforms to understand importance of the internet to social development and to engage in promoting open, rights-based, accessible and multi-stakeholder governance of the internet. An "International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Private/Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy” to advance inclusive policy approaches for people/citizens meaningful engagement in internet governance is needed to fill the existing gap. This initiative will respond to respond to UNESCO Resolution 40 C/28 and the United Nations Resolution A/RES/75/267. The United Nations "Encourages Member States, the United Nations system and all other relevant stakeholders to enhance cooperation on media and information literacy at the global, regional and national levels..., as well as to strengthen communications capacities and improve media infrastructure and communications technology in developing countries especially in the areas of training and dissemination of information". UNESCO, European Commission and the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance collaborate via this workshop to broaden multi-stakeholder partnership with private sector companies, inlcluding digital platform, and other stakeholders in this respect.

SDGs

4.7
5.b
16.10

Targets: SDG 4.7: By 2030, ensure that all learners acquire the knowledge and skills needed to promote sustainable development, including, among others, through education for sustainable development and sustainable lifestyles, human rights, gender equality, promotion of a culture of peace and non-violence, global citizenship and appreciation of cultural diversity and of culture’s contribution to sustainable development SDG 5.b: Enhance the use of enabling technology, in particular information and communications technology, to promote the empowerment of women SDG 16.10: Ensure public access to information and protect fundamental freedoms, in accordance with national legislation and international agreements

Description:

The current health crisis has created a state of general isolation and underscored the unprecedented necessity of the digital sphere of information, social networks, and the internet in general. Social and economic implications have arisen giving the growing phenomenon of disinfodemic by either a lack of access to information or media and information literacy competencies to critically evaluate information. There is a ripe opportunity to to stimulate multi-stakeholder cooperation for media and information literacy in digital spaces as a means to bolster inclusive internet governance.

Promoting media and information literacy in digital spaces have become urgent. Media and information literacy enables people to self-protect online, thus serves as a viable alternative to censorship of the internet. Media and information literacy also helps users of online platforms to understand importance of the internet to social development and to engage in promoting open, rights-based, accessible and multi-stakeholder governance of the internet. Ensuring media and information literacy for all requires a multi-stakeholder approach. Private sector organizations including digital communications companies, international development organizations, governments and civil society, therefore, play a crucial role in promoting media and information literacy through their policies and programmes.

This workshop adopts a multidimensional and multi-stakeholder approach linking the IGF perspective and UNESCO's Media and Information Literacy strategy, in order to strengthen the principle of inclusion and cooperation with digital platforms and other stakeholders through media and information literacy and access to information.

Therefore, this workshop will be a landmark to demonstrate how multi-stakeholder cooperation could be forged with private companies, including digital communication companies, and other stakeholders to promote media and information litearcy. It will advance debate preceded by an online international consultation involving different stakeholders around the world to discuss, articulate and mobilize engagement and take-up of the “Draft International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Private/Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy”.

In this context, an objective of this collaboration is to build synergies between the IGF and the Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2021. This connection will be made through the draft international framework resource.

The workshop will be organized by UNESCO in collaboration with the European Commission and the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance currently having over 600 member organizations/networks in more than 100 countries. This UNESCO alliance is made up of civil society organizations, media organizations, associations/ networks and government representatives, etc. The hope is to have the workshop available in all the six official languages of UNESCO.

Finally, this international framework will initially be discussed at the Global MIL Week 2021 and will be further deliberated at the Internet Governance Forum 2021. The IGF and its objectives will be promoted during the Global MIL Week 2021.

Moderator: Mr Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General, Communication and Information Sector, UNESCO

Speakers:

  1. Ms Vera Jourova, Vice President and Commissioner, European Commission
  2. Ms Sinéad McSweeney Global Vice President of Public Policy, Twitter
  3. Ms Samia Bibars, Minister Plenipotentiary and Director, Monitoring & Crisis Management Department Media & Information Sector, Arab League (Speaking on behalf of the Secretary General of the Arab League)
  4. Ms Silvia Bacher, Founder, Las Otras Voces, Member of the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance
  5. Ms Sonia Gill, Secretary General, Caribbean Broadcasting Union
  6. Ms Clair Deevy, Director of Global Policy Programs, WhatsApp
  7. Dr Filimon Manoni, Deputy Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum: (Did not speak during the session as video arrived late) https://youtu.be/Gc4ptobZv6s
Expected Outcomes

o Elaborate key recommendations from speakers and participants to update the “Draft International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy”, and about possible reporting or monitoring mechanism.

o Advance dialogue and mobilization of multi-stakeholders including private companies to use the “International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information” as a guide in the implementation of their programmes and policies.

Speakers and most participants will be online. On-site participants will be invited to take the floor when the moderator opens the floor. After the on-site participants, online participants will be invited to take the floor or to post their contributions and remarks (with limited words) in the chat. Moderator will read a selected number of remarks from the chat.

Online Participation

Usage of IGF Official Tool. Additional Tools proposed: Yes, UNESCO social media channels and the Media and Information Literacy Facebook and Instagram page.

Key Takeaways (* deadline 2 hours after session)

For the first time at the Internet Governance Forum, high-level intergovernmental, civil society, social media, and media representatives addressed media and information literacy in digital spaces. There was consensus on the urgency to advance an International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Private/Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy.

The International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy document will be drafted by UNESCO based on these consultations. The International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy will be validated by further online consultations and launched in the second half of 2022. Implementation and monitoring will follow.

Call to Action (* deadline 2 hours after session)

Wide access to media and information literacy by people requires multilateral cooperation. There was a strong call to act now to promote media and information literacy for all. All digital platforms, media, and other information repositories are called to get involved in activating the International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Private/Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy.

Stakeholders must develop national media and information literacy policy as well as integrate it in the educational curriculums at schools and universities, ensuring wide dissemination. A call for the support of training platforms for teachers and youth to communicate, collaborate and develop projects, with a focus on media and information literacy to fight disinformation.

Session Report (* deadline Monday 20 December) - click on the ? symbol for instructions

The key session takeaways are: 

There was consensus on the urgency to advance an International Multi-Stakeholder Framework for Private/Digital Communications Companies to Promote Media and Information Literacy. Achieving media and information literacy in digital spaces cannot be achieved without multilateral cooperation.  

Speakers call for the support of a training platform for teachers to communicate, collaborate and develop projects, with a focus on media and information literacy and the fight against disinformation; Identify the responsibilities, duties, and obligations for digital companies to challenge disinformation; Employ media and information literacy to address critical issues in society today including elections, COVID 2019, and countering misleading information from a prejudicial impact standpoint. 

Develop media and information literacy policy as well as integrate it in the educational curriculums at schools and universities, aiming to ensure its dissemination; Connect media and information literacy with education, the right to communication, freedom of the press, the right to information, the right to expression, the right to participation, access to connectivity, comprehensive and sustainable use of ICTs, among others. 

Media and information literacy should reach all human beings, minorities of all kinds, children, adults and seniors without distinction of gender, or limitation by condition of any kind. Media and Information Literacy is a core competency for addressing disinformation and misinformation, contributing to the protection of privacy, prevention of violent extremism, promotion of digital security and combating hate speech and inequality. 

Collaboration is fundamental to developing media and information literacy, but achieving a collective understanding is possible through collaborative efforts. Media influence is social, political and economic power and power always attracts those who wish to misuse it. Media and information literacy must be a work of structured, capacity-building of education. This requires resources, human and material. 

Mr Tawfik Jelassi, Assistant Director-General for Communication and Information: Since the Internet is a shared and public resource, it concerns all of us. Media and Information Literacy is a multivalent tool that can be used in this regard. During the recently held 41st session of UNESCO’s General Conference, numerous Member States highlighted the urgency of Media and Information Literacy. Media and information literacy is a matter of national security issue. 

Ms Vera Jourova, Vice President and Commissioner, European Commission: European Democracy Action Plan aims to improve the resilience of European democracies through a society approach to protect democracy by strengthening media freedom and pluralism. Media and information literacy is a central part of this plan and related funding. A call for proposal will be released in 2022. The European Commission stands with UNESCO and supports multilateral cooperation on media and information literacy. 

Ms Sinéad McSweeney Global Vice President of Public Policy, Twitter: Develop media and information literacy skills to enable the capacity to consume, digest, and understand information. Twitter is prioritizing promoting media and information literacy and is happy to be partnering with UNESCO, looking forward to expanding the work through broad collaboration.  

Ms Samia Bibars, Minister Plenipotentiary and Director, Monitoring & Crisis Management Department Media & Information Sector, Arab League: Media and Information literacy are essential as a regulatory initiative to ensure that everyone can use technology, including digital media, for full participation in society.  

Ms Silvia Bacher, Founder, Las Otras Voces, Member of the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy Alliance: Incorporate media and information literacy concepts in education and media laws to positively impact and visibility to the media and information literacy issues. 

Ms Sonia Gill, Secretary-General of the Caribbean Broadcasting Union: Recognize the UNESCO resource Media and Information Literacy in Journalism: A Handbook for Journalist and Journalism Education and call for the rollout of training based on this tool. 

Ms Clair Deevy, Director of Global Policy Programs, WhatsApp: WhatsApp is taking steps on media and information literacy and digital literacy; Use gamification and simulation to promote media and information literacy. 

Dr Filimon Manoni, Deputy Secretary-General of the Pacific Islands Forum: (Did not speak during the session as video arrived late) https://youtu.be/Gc4ptobZv6s Ensure the achievements of digital media and information literacy goals to guarantee connectivity and open new frontiers and opportunities for multi-stakeholder relationships across the globe. 

Watch full video of event here, http://webcast.unesco.org/events/2021-12-MIL-IGF/