“Media and Information Literacy Hackathon 2022” was launched in Yerevan

Yerevan, December 3, 2022: The “Media and Information Literacy Hackathon 2022”, the competition for innovative ideas, which is held at the “Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center” Foundation, was launched in Yerevan.

This exclusive event is implemented within the framework of the “Media and Information Literacy Accelerator” project. It is implemented by the Public Journalism Club in cooperation with the “Innovative Solutions and Technologies Center” Foundation and in conjunction with a number of other partners, with the support of the US Embassy in Armenia.

At the opening of the hackathon, Seda Muradyan, President of the Public Journalism Club, emphasized the role of education in the fight against disinformation.

“Disinformation weakens both the individual and the society. In order to protect against disinformation, it is necessary to make vast investments in education, and in this process, the close cooperation of political society, media, public, private, ICT sectors, as well as international donors is important. This initiative proves that there is an interest in media literacy among the public and a demand to be resistant to disinformation and to be protected. It is the mission and responsibility of all of us to effectively respond to that interest and demand,” said Seda Muradyan.

US Chargé d’Affaires in Armenia Chip Laitinen also made an opening speech at the event. He specifically mentioned: “Initiatives such as this are crucial for helping the public better understand the news they are consuming, which is an essential component of a democratic society.”

Gor Tsarukyan, Director of “Public Relations and Information Center” of Staff of the Prime Minister of the RA a partner of Hackathon, also made an opening speech.

He emphasized the importance of cooperation with the state, private sector, civil society and international organizations in the fight against disinformation.

More than 80 participants are present at the announced competition for projects with technological solutions aimed at the development of fact-checking and media literacy capacities. About 20 teams from Armenia formed from startup teams, ICT companies, representatives of the media and education sectors and one team from Italy joined online will compete for their ideas aimed at the development of media literacy and protection from disinformation.

The hackathon brought together a number of civil society organizations, state, private and international structures.

The Director of the American Councils in Armenia, Dagen Valentine, who excited the participants with a short game, also emphasized that in order to create something good at the hackathon, there should be a diversity of ideas.

The attendees of the event were also addressed with a welcoming speech by the representatives of our partner institutions – Mariam Simonyan, Representative of the “Innovation Solutions and Technologies Center” Foundation, Lusine Grigoryan, Media Literacy Specialist of the Media Initiatives Center, Lusine Ghukasyan, Representative of the Enterprise Incubator Foundation, and representatives of other partner institutions.

Teams participating in the hackathon will discuss their ideas with mentors Mythos Labs Founder and CEO Priyank Mathur, Media Experts Samvel Martirosyan and Artur Papyan, investigative journalist Tirayr Muradyan, editor-in-chief Gegham Vardanyan, Media Initiatives Center representative Lusine Grigoryan, ICT specialist Aleksey Chalabyan.

The team from Italy joined online will also benefit from mentoring support.

The hackathon will last 24 hours, during which fact-checking and media literacy courses will be held by leading local and international experts, and participants will develop technological ideas.

On December 4, all the teams will introduce their ideas, then the jury will evaluate the projects.

The competent jury will evaluate according to the following criteria:

  1. The relevance of the project to the objectives of the hackathon and the priorities of the announcement,
  2. The problem solved by the project,
  3. Stability and continuity of the project,
  4. The realism of the project implementation and the compliance of the budget with the submitted proposal,
  5. Technological solution and innovation of the project,
  6. Capabilities of the team implementing the project, etc.

The prize fund is AMD equivalent to 15,000 US dollars, which will be awarded to the authors of the three best ideas.

In the post-hackathon period, award-winning teams will receive mentoring support.

The hackathon is held as part of the “Media and Information Literacy Accelerator” project, which is implemented by the Public Journalism Club under a grant from the Office of Public Diplomacy of the US Department of State. The goal of the project is to contribute to the creation of a disinformation-resistant society in Armenia through political society, media capacity building, sustainable cooperation between the public, private and state sectors, as well as the use of information technologies. The project details are available here.

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