What We Can Do For Peace? Media Literacy

An online educational event titled, “What We Can Do for Peace? Media Literacy” was held on 23 October. Organized by the Department of Public Relations (PR) of Heavenly Culture, World Peace, Restoration of Light (HWPL) and the International Peace Youth Group (IPYG), the event invited Mr. Nabeel Tirmazi, a Broadcasting Consultant and Program Manager of Asia-Pacific Institute for Broadcasting Development (AIBD), as a lecturer and 20 youth from Bangladesh and Pakistan as participants.

The IPYG has been liaising and interacting with youth organizations across the globe through the Youth Empowerment Peace Class (YEPC) while spreading a culture of peace in civil society and providing diverse forms of educational opportunities. HWPL’s Department of PR has prepared an educational function on media literacy for youth organizations in South Asia and offered technical education and the knowledge needed to promote further development of democracy and the decision rights of the people.

The theme of the first session was “Definition of Confirmation Bias,” and the second was “Our Attitude in Confirmation Bias.”

Mr. Tirmazi, who previously gave a speech titled “What is Media Literacy” at the “What We Can Do for Peace? Media Literacy” event held in June, explained in the lecture the media stance people should take by stating that, “We can't be unbiased because we are human, but if we recognize it and challenge it, we can develop critical thinking skills and make better decisions." explaining in detail the media attitude that youths should have.”

Ms. Alex Kim, a coordinator of HWPL’s Department of PR, who also gave a lecture at the event, explained that this event on media literacy provided an opportunity for people to identify cases of confirmation bias on ethnicity, religion, gender, and generation in media, and to think in-depth about democratic solutions to such situations. Furthermore, she mentioned it offered education for the participants to objectively accept media and diverse perspectives rather than staying narrow-minded or inciting conflicts and disputes.

Coordinator Kim also stated, “Citizens should distinguish false information and manipulated information through media literacy capabilities and obtain useful information from various media so that their lives can go in a more positive and productive direction." She added, "When media producers, consumers, and distributors perform their roles correctly, our lives can be developed and peace can be realized."

Mr. Wasif Abu Dujana, the Youth Project Development Officer at Youth Nexus in Bangladesh, commented that it was an honor to take part in the event and that media literacy education is the most necessary education in Bangladesh. He also said that it was meaningful to improve domestic citizenship and to have the right perspective on media.

Barzillai Newton, a student from the Victor Public Higher Secondary School in Pakistan, mentioned, “Through media literacy education provided by HWPL and IPYG, we can learn the exact meaning of confirmation bias and we should be able to objectively look at all things and situations away from the biased view.”

HWPL will continue its efforts to offer educational opportunities on leadership and media literacy to media students and members of youth organizations in South Asia to ensure that the future decision-makers learn to take a critical attitude toward news before accepting them and grow into citizens equipped with democratic values.