In 2020, lecturers of the Faculty of Communication, Vilnius University, launched implementation of the partner part of the Media Literacy in the Baltics Programme financed by the US State Department. In cooperation with the International Research & Exchanges Board IREX, seminars on development of critical thinking and responsible use of media were held for students in summer, which were conducted by Dr. Viktor Denisenko.
‘Various types of media literacy training courses are increasingly gaining popularity. It should not come as a surprise since we live in the age of excessive information today. If we just think about the amount of various information ‘bombarding’ us every day. For this reason, a need arises for a modern person to b able to navigate in the flows of information, to discern reliable communication from unreliable and important information from irrelevant. In simpler words, media literacy is a competence that is necessary for a modern person’, Dr. Viktor Denisenko told about the relevance of the seminars.
Training courses held last summer covered a wide range of topics. During the media literacy summer school, the impact of false news and propaganda communications on the field of information was explained. Training participants learn to recognise and discern promotional and public relations texts from journalistic publications, examined examples of poor-quality journalistic products. Discussions were held with the students on the impact of images and stereotypes on information perception, their abilities to identify information manipulations were built.
The students attended the summer school for various reasons.
‘I believe nowadays it is important to understand the information you receive and to know how to discern true information from unreliable communications. Besides, the session had just ended, and I love studying, therefore I decided to enrich my knowledge-base with training like this instead of limiting myself to lectures and other academic information’, said student Giedrė Sakalauskaitė.
The seminars were relevant not only for the students who had not had this type of training before, but also for those who already work in mass media.
‘I decided to attend training because I work in a mass media company and I wanted to learn more about media, propaganda and other related matters. Many things were already familiar to me but just from my working experience, however I gained new knowledge about propaganda, its types, how it manifests itself and spreads in society and so on. Besides, I learnt more about Russian propaganda media operating in Lithuania’, student Gabrielė Bernotaitė told about her participation in the project seminars.
According to training participant Giedrė Sakalauskaitė, during the seminars she learnt to search for the source of an article or any other information, to understand how the headings of articles are created, manipulation in mass media and operation of news agencies.
‘I study the Creation Communication, therefore I have to do quite a lot of presentations to my fellow students, to speak in public, to write various works, articles. I always want to provide the most accurate and reliable information possible, therefore I believe this training course will come handy to me when completing various tasks related to search for reliable information’, said student Giedrė Sakalauskaitė.