Youth Exchange „Creating Critical Power on Media Literacy“

Project Date: 07-15.10.2021

Project Venue: Kemer (Antalya), Turkey

Project Organizer: JuBuK

Project Partners from 6 countries: ULUSLARARASI GENÇLİK DAYANIŞMASI DERNEĞİ (Turkey), Associació per la mobilitat internacional i emprenedoria YOUTH BCN (Spain), Czech Youth Association z.s. (Czech Republic), ALTER EGO (Greece), MasterPeace Macedonia (North Macedonia), Erasmus Force One (Italy)

Project Description: 

The Youth Exchange „Creating Critical Power on Media Literacy“ took place in Kemer, Turkey from 07-15.10.2021.

In the youth exchange 42 participants between the ages of 18 and 30 took part. Countries involved: Germany, Turkey, Greece, Spain, Czech Republic, Italy, and North Macedonia.

Working Methods:
The youth exchange „Creating Critical Power on Media Literacy“ has tree parts. The first part was about getting to know each other activities (name games, ice-breaking and team-building activities), discussion on the elements of non-formal education, experience of the partners in the field and with YouthPass. Once safe and supportive learning environment was created, the participants have worked on getting new knowledge and developing competencies and practical skills on media literacy, analyzing, creating and evaluating media content, addressing hate speech, racism and discrimination. During youth exchange the participants have taken part in simulations, interactive lectures, debates, discussions and role plays. At the end of youth exchange the participants have focused on brainstorming ideas for future projects that could be realized under Erasmus + Programme / European Solidarity Corps or at local level.
Each part of youth exchange was based on non-formal learning approach and different kinds of tools, methods and techniques were used, for example, discussions, group and individual challenges, simulations, thematic workshops, interactive presentations and methods supporting interaction between the participants, exchange information and ideas. Reflection activities on individual learning processes of the participants as well as feedback on project activities were held regularly throughout the whole youth exchange. Group leaders have met with the participants regularly to support their learning process.


Each national team was represented by 5 participants and 1 group leader.

Objectives of the project:

  • Help the participants strength their media literacy competencies and develop skills to implemented activities developing media competencies among young people in participants countries to fight discrimination and hate speech;
  • Foster better understanding of media and the process of creating media products with special focus to be paid to social media as one of the most popular communication channel of young people these days;
  • Provide better knowledge of sources of hate speech and discrimination, foster knowledge about the realities in other countries as the participants will have better knowledge of creating and leading advocacy campaign;
  • Developing following competencies (teamwork, leadership, communication, creativity) by their participation in various non-formal based activities in intercultural settings.
  • Foster better knowledge of Erasmus + Programme and its Key Action (especially Key Action 1) and European Solidarity Corps among the participants.

Project website: https://creating-critical-power-on-media-literacy.webnode.com/

Project video:

Project results:

Here you can find some of the compains created by the paticipants during the project

Media influence

How does social media and other media influence teenagers?

Teenagers can be very smart consumers of media messages. They don’t just take on board everything they see and hear on social media or in other media. You can help them develop the skills they need to handle media influence.

Media influence on teenagers can be deliberate and direct. For example, advertising is often directed at children and teenagers. This means that children and teenagers are increasingly conscious of brands and images.

Media influence can also be indirect. For example, this might include sexualised images and content on Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook and YouTube. It might also include violent imagery and coarse language in news media, documentaries, video games and some song lyrics. This kind of media influence can suggest to teenagers that certain ways of behaving and looking are ’normal‘.

Positive social media and other media influences on teenagers

Here’s the good news: social media and other media can be positive influences on teenage behaviour and attitudes.

Citizenship
Teenagers who are exposed to and take an interest in news media are more likely to be interested in major social and political issues like climate change. In this example, media can encourage them to become more involved as citizens in their communities.

Health and lifestyle
Teenagers can also pick up important health promotion messages from social media and other media. This might include messages aimed at preventing youth depression and suicide, promoting positive, respectful relationships, or encouraging healthy eating and lifestyle habits.

Identity
Good-quality stories in television shows and movies can help teenagers explore aspects of identity like sexuality, relationships, gender or ethics – for example, the treatment of sexuality in a movie like Bohemian Rhapsody, or gender in Ride Like a Girl, or ethics in a TV show like The Good Place. Watching these shows with your child is a great opportunity for discussion.

It’s always worth remembering that media – good and bad – is just one of several influences on teenage behaviour and attitudes. Other influences include family, friends and peers, cultural background and more. Often these influences can be more powerful than media influence.

Negative social media and other media influence on teenagers

Media messages can have a negative or unhealthy influence on teenage behaviour and attitudes in certain areas, including body image, health and citizenship.

Body image
Your child’s body image is influenced by social media, other media and advertising. If teenagers see unrealistic ‚thin‘ or ‚muscly‘ body types often enough in the media they follow, it can have an impact on their body image and dieting behaviour. This is especially true when there’s no-one to disagree with messages like ‚thin is beautiful‘.

Health and lifestyle
Social media and other media can influence the decisions that teenagers make about their health and lifestyle. For example, media messages and content can make it look ’normal‘, cool or grown-up to eat junk food, smoke, drink alcohol and take other drugs.

Citizenship
To be responsible citizens, teenagers need reliable and good-quality information. But social media and other media are sometimes used in negative ways during elections and at other times. For example, ‚fake news‘ might influence teenagers to believe false information about a politician, public figure or celebrity. Or sometimes online forums promote biased or hateful attitudes towards groups of people.

Media and the Power

A brief conceptual analysis is needed in order to specify what notions of power are involved in such an approach to the role of the news media. I limit this analysis to properties of social or institutional power and ignore the more idiosyncratic dimensions of personal influence, for example, those of individual journalists. Thus, social power here will be summarily defined as a social relation between groups or institutions, involving the control by a (more) powerful group or institution (and its members) of the actions and the minds of (the members) a less powerful group.5 Such power generally presupposes privileged access to socially valued resources, such as force, wealth, income, knowledge, or status. Media power is generally symbolic and persuasive, in the sense that the media primarily have the potential to control to some extent the minds of readers or viewers, but not directly their actions.6 Except in cases of physical, coercive force, the control of action, which is usually the ultimate aim of the exercise of power, is generally indirect, whereas the control of intentions, plans, knowledge, beliefs, or opinions that is, mental representations that monitor overt activities is presupposed. Also, given the presence of other sources of information, and because the media usually lack access to the sanctions that other such as legal or bureaucratic-institutions may apply in cases of noncompliance, mind control by the media can never be complete. On the contrary, psy- chological and sociological evidence suggests that despite the pervasive symbolic power of the media, the audience will generally retain a mini- mum of autonomy and independence, and engage more or less actively, instead of purely passively, in the use of the means of mass communi- cation.7 In other words, whatever the symbolic power of the news media, at least some media users will generally be able to resist such persuasion. This suggests that mind control by the media should be particularly effective when the media users do not realize the nature or the implications of such control and when they change their minds of their own free will, as when they accept news reports as true or journalistic opinions as legitimate or correct. Such an analysis of social power and its symbolic dimensions requires going beyond a narrow social or political approach to power. It also involves a study of the mental repre- sentations, including so-called social cognitions such as attitudes and ideologies, shared by groups of readers or viewers. If we are able to relate more or less explicitly such mental representations, as well as their changes, to properties of news reports, important insights into media power can be gained. Well-known but vague notions such as influ- ence or manipulation may then finally be given a precise meaning.

Participants reports:

Media literacy project – Oktober 2021, Kemer
On this project about media literacy we worked in the beautiful Kemer in Turkey. We were participants of seven different countries: Greece, Macedonia, Czech republic, Spain, Italy, Germany and turkey. The goal of this project was to get the tools to be media literate in order to be able to analyse media messages such as news properly.The focus was also on identifying fake news, hate speech and other problems found on the media. It was especially interesting for us to hear about the media in other countries and their problems. After analysing different types of media and learning processes, we moved on to finding solutions to those problems in various ways. Starting with interactive theatre presentation (forum theatre) we had the task to think collectively about solutions to different topics present in media and in the daily life (e.g. hate speech, racism, sexism, corruption, fake news). The next activity to find active solutions to fight the problems mentioned above was the creation of different online campaigns that are active even months after the project has ended. Each person could choose one topic of their interest and start developing content with a group. This content is to make people aware of a common issue and crate a supporting community that provides information and solutions. The online campaigns were a challenge in such a short time but we leaned to use online tools and platforms in a different way, we learned to really use those spaces and to have positive impact in our society.Important to mention is also that the culturally mixture of participants allowed us to get to know different cultures, ways of living and see the world and have interesting conversations with people from all over Europe. Activities such as Intercultural Night were a very helpful and fun way to get to know the other countries. Learning about Erasmus and Erasmus plus projects (through presentations from the participant teams) really were a motivation to participate in further projects.

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