- November 2, 2021
Project title: Media and Information Literacy Accelerator (MILA)
Project funding: Public Diplomacy Section, U.S. Department of State
Project implementer: Public Journalism Club (PJC)
Implementation period: November 1, 2021 – June 30, 2023
Budget: USD 175.000
The Project Goal
Contribute to the formation of a disinformation-resilient society in Armenia:
- by promoting the capacity building of civil society, media representatives, through sustainable cooperation between the public, private and state sectors,
- by development of portals responding the needs of education and media fields through utilizing information technology solution,
- by interventions in capacity building of youth in regions for recognizing disinformation, manipulation and propaganda and equipping with fact checking tools.
As a result of the Project, it was planned:
- As a result of cooperation between the technological and media communities, to develop tools that will contribute to the development of media literacy in the Armenian society and protection from misinformation.
- To enhance the capacity of Armenian media workers in media literacy, fact-checking, and debunking disinformation as, like in the whole the world, in Armenia also, the level of misinformation is expanding.
- To Improve the digital security and data privacy of media representatives, as well as young people in Armenia, especially in the regions.
The Project Main Activities
- Organization of a media and information literacy accelerator, which served as a research and educational center for media workers in Yerevan and regions of Armenia. The center conducted trainings for the participants selected by open announcement. The training program was developed and conducted by Armenian and international experts. Upon successful completion of the training, each participant had an opportunity to take part in individual project competition, and to implement a journalistic project on media literacy, fact checking or other related topic in case of winning.
- Creation of a fact-checking tool via information technology solutions based on the needs of media field, fostering the investigative journalism with the participation of international and local specialists.
- Innovative Hackathon contest to find solutions for media and information literacy with the participation of IT, media, media literacy specialists. The Hackathon prize fund was $ 15,000. This event was implemented in cooperation with the ISTC Foundation, Media Initiatives Center, Enterprise Incubator Foundation, American Councils in Armenia and other partners.
- Holding a conference dedicated to the confrontation of misinformation and propaganda with the participation of international experts, representatives of Government, civil society and media.
- Conducting master classes for young people in Tavush, Syunik, Gegharkunik, Lori and Shirak regions on digital security and data protection.
Project Target Groups
Media workers, students of Journalism departments, youth of the regions, representatives of civil society, IT organizations.
- 36 trained media workers from Yerevan and regions (journalist, editor, photojournalist, online content creator). 6 projects developed by the training course graduates, promoting media literacy, by using the fact-checking toolkit, which will receive grants.
- Development and operation of a digital tool to assist in checking facts and information materials: www.osp.am, Armenian translation of InVID tool.
- Organizing an international conference on disinformation and malicious propaganda, involving more than 100 participants.
- 100 young people trained in 5 regions of Armenia in the field of digital security, data protection.
- Cooperation of Armenian IT and media sector representatives in the fight against misinformation within the framework of Hackathon on media and information literacy, selection of 3 winning startup projects,
- Promoting the capacity of the general public, particularly the media, to resist misinformation and fake news.
This project was funded through a Department of State Public Diplomacy Section grant.