Media Diversity Institute recently completed the first MLADI (Media Literacy Alliance and Digital Importance) training in Vrnjacka Banja, Serbia. It is the first of three trainings for the project.
“In Serbia, media and information literacy is quite underdeveloped,” said Aleksandra Ivankovic, a journalist and one of the sixteen workshop participants.
“Everyone tends to hate media, but they do not understand what media does.”
According to the Reporters Without Borders press freedom index, press freedom has declined in Serbia in recent years. According to MDI Western Balkans Coordinator Ivana Jelaca, this is largely due to threats against journalists, and a lack of reliable sources of information.
The MLADI project seeks to rectify this by teaching young people the difference between propaganda and objective journalism, and training them in the basics of how media is created, and most importantly, how to create good media. It is coordinated alongside MDI Western Balkans, KOMS, Local Press and Novi Magazine.
“We are going through a period where the trust in traditional media sources is really low,” said Luc Steinberg, one of the MIL trainers.
“People are bombarded by information and media messages constantly; this is a problem for how to direct our attention and how to decide what is good information and what is bad information.”
While some of the participants attended the workshop as aspiring journalists, others attended as youth CSO representatives, hoping to improve their communications with the press.
Following the training, all of the workshop participants are expected to train other youth activists in their communities, passing on the knowledge for the greater good.
Dates: 23-26 July 2019