Baku hosts conference on media literacy (PHOTO)

The Media Development Agency of the Republic of Azerbaijan (MEDIA) on Friday organized a conference themed “Media Literacy” with the aim of raising awareness about media literacy, News.Az reports.

The conference held at the Baku Youth Center brought together nearly 300 young people from Baku city and other districts of the country.

The event was declared open after the national anthem of Azerbaijan was sounded.  The participants then observed a minute of silence to honor the memory of national leader Heydar Aliyev and Azerbaijani martyrs who sacrificed their lives for the country’s territorial integrity.

Delivering keynote remarks at the conference, Ahmad Ismayilov, Executive Director of the Media Development Agency, said the rapid expansion of the scope of the electronic information society, the facilitation of access to information in the digital reality, and society’s difficulties in determining the objectivity of information underscore the need to educate media-literate consumers and take consistent and urgent steps for ensuring the effective fulfillment of their professional duties by media entities.

Later, the conference featured a panel session themed “Media Education in the Modern Media Environment”, which was moderated by Jasarat Valehov, head of the public relations sector at Azerbaijan’s Ministry of Science and Education.

Speaking at the panel session, Nijat Mammadli, an advisor to the Ministry of Science of Education of Azerbaijan, said that programs and training implemented at schools and outside of schools, and conferences, as well as measures aimed at improving digital media skills and increasing media awareness, are of particular importance for strengthening the socio-cultural potential of young people, as well as for the development of society.

Elchin Babayev, Rector of Baku State University, in his speech underscored the importance of expanding educational activities to increase media literacy among young people, as well as adapting the concept of literacy in information processing and consumption to the requirements of the modern era.

Anar Naghiyev, Rector of Baku Slavic University, said the international practice shows that teaching media literacy at the level of formal education plays an important protective role in increasing the awareness of children, teenagers and young people against the negative effects of the media.

In his speech, Fuad Hajiyev, Rector of Azerbaijan State Academy of Physical Education and Sports, said the studies conducted reveal that the most used strategy for increasing media literacy by countries with high indicators of media literacy is to include the topic in the educational system at many levels and take coordinated measures in this regard.

Emin Musavi, Director of ASAN Radio, who moderated the second panel session on the topic “The Importance of Media Literacy in the Social Development of Young People”, emphasized the importance of the Smart media project jointly implemented with the Media Development Agency.

Indira Hajiyeva, Deputy Minister of Youth and Sports, said in her speech that increasing media literacy is one of the most important tools to minimize the negative outcomes of the media, reduce the potentially harmful effects of participation in digital platforms, and help young people become critical consumers and creators in the digital world.

Farid Jafarov, Executive Director of the Youth Foundation, noted that the modernization of the global information environment makes many vulnerable groups of users, that is, children, teenagers and young people, a direct target of the negative effects of the media.

Shafag Mehraliyeva, Head of the Communication and Digital Media Program at ADA University, spoke about the goal of increasing media literacy skills, stressing the importance of conducting extensive and continuous educational activities related to the evaluation of media content.

Yusif Valiyev, Chairman of the Union of Voluntary Organizations of Azerbaijan, emphasized that the rapid and dynamic development of the information and communication technology sector in the country in recent years necessitates the increase of media literacy among young people and the implementation of coordinated measures in this regard.

As part of the conference, a workshop themed “Against disinformation: Studying facts” was held by Parvana Ibrahimova, a representative of the Media Development Agency, and Vafa Isgandarova, an associate professor of the International Journalism and Information Policy Department at Baku State University, in the presence of young people.

The conference also featured a #MEDIAtalks event in the TEDx format. Speaking about the topics “Threats in Digital Media: Disinformation and Cyberbullying”, “Power and Responsibility of Information” and “Building Media Literate Consumers”, Vusala Mammadova, a host of the Public Television, emphasized the vital role of media literacy in the people’s lives.

At the end of the conference, interactive discussions were held, and the participants’ questions were answered.


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