Since 2014, the Division of International Communication under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Carola Richter has been offering FU students the chance to participate in the Media and Digital Literacy Academy in Beirut. The participation was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD).
The term “media literacy” describes the awareness about media content as being a construct. It enforces the critical analysis of media messages as well as the ability to utilize digital media to articulate ones’ opinions and beliefs. The two-week academy program aims to develop media and digital literacy education in the MENA region by providing the needed training and curricular material for both students and faculty.
This year, five FU students, accompanied by Dr. Anna Antonakis attended MDLAB among 70 other participants from Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt. During the first week, participants were exposed to a broad spectrum of topical lectures, such as the political economy of news, privacy and surveillance in social media and women as war correspondents. Lectures were held by international scholars like Dr. Sohail Dahdal, Dr. Gretchen King and many others. Dr. Anna Antonakis contributed with her lecture „From #taharrush to #me_too: Feminist Media Mobilization“. Prof. Jad Melki, founder of MDLAB, and FU-cooperation partner gave an insight about the propaganda strategies of modern terrorist groups. Simultaneously, technical staff introduced media production programs and techniques of data visualization and video editing.
During the second week, it was the participants’ turn to get active and implement what they have learnt. While scholars created media literacy curricula to be taught in their home universities, students worked on media projects that were used to start-off a social media campaign. Topics included Autism awareness, toxic masculinity and the danger of using mobile phones on the move. Film screenings and podium discussions rounded off the program.