Since 2014, funded by the German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) and supervised by Prof. Carola Richter, the Division for International Communication participates in the Media and Digital Literacy Academy in Beirut (MDLAB). The term “digital literacy” describes a sustainable learning project that enables citizens to critically analyze media, to expose propaganda and to use digital media to articulate personal beliefs and opinions.
Both scholars and students, mainly from Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan and Egypt, took part in the two-week academy in August 2017 at the Lebanese American University in Beirut. This year, also scholars and students from Berlin joined. Dr. Anna Antonakis travelled together with seven students from the Master’s program Media and Political Communication to Beirut. In the first week of MDLAB, international researches like Dr. Paul Mihailidis and Dr. Moses Shumow introduced the topic within their lectures. MDLAB-funder and FU-cooperation partner Prof. Jad Melki also analyzed the propaganda strategies of ISIS. The second week focused on the implementation of media literacy in teaching and media production.
The students worked on their own projects and got to know programs and techniques of data visualization and video editing. The program ended with film screenings and podium discussions that were open to the public and in which Dr. Anna Antonakis took part as well. Topics dealt with the representation of sexual minorities and refugees within the Lebanese and German media landscape.