Digital and Media Literacy for Active Citizenship — Italy


Programme: Erasmus+, Key Action 1: traning course

Venue: Palermo, Italy

Dates: 23—28 November 2021

Please read the info-pack.  

Participating countries: Italy, Grece, Czech Republic, Serbia, Spain, Estonia, Romania, Netherlands, Poland, Hungary 

Hosting organisation: Associazione InformaGiovani

Czech team: Vít Votroubek, Martina Kotorová

Project report:

The training course DAMLAC in the very heart of Palermo took place between the 24th and 27th November. There were four very intense days. And what does DAMLAC actually mean? Digital and media literacy for active citizenship.

We were accommodated in an old monastery with a typical atrium courtyard with arches which offered a place for some sessions. The combination of contemporary topics of the project with these historic spaces gave the project a special atmosphere.

The first day we did some get-to-know-each-other activities and shared our expectations and experience. Experienced journalist Pietro then introduced us to the vision of social media from their inception to the present, for example, how the public’s view of Facebook has changed from initial optimism to a tool for collecting detailed data of each user. He explained to us the issue of data storage and the importance of relevance to the subject of interest. So any data is relevant to the specific environment in which we find ourselves, therefore social media creates a kind of imaginary map. We also talked about the risks that social media brings. Even in relation to other technologies that have an Internet connection. For example, some electric toothbrushes record data on their use. From the banal use of group advertising data we have moved to the deeper issue of political campaigns. Although these problems, these technologies can help as a tool for active citizenship.

The next day we dealt with hate speech. From the definition of the council of Europe, how to deal with this phenomenon. We could see from the example of various campaigns how much power these media have to unleash a wave of hatress. Social media can also help a lot, as we learned from the example of some campaigns. We also touched on the paradox of followers. Although we have, for example, ten thousands of views, there are actually only hundreds of them. Because many views are counted also as you move the cursor across the screen. This creates a false vision of our marketing success. That is also related to the saturation of the media, for example, Facebook is no longer fulfilling its information goals at the beginning and Instagram is taking over its role. The number of users who watch the content but do not create it has decreased, it is called Facebook voyeurism.In the evening, part of the organization presented its activities. For example, a Wolontariat center from Poland or Seeds, an interesting organization from Iceland. From Belgium Service-Volontaire, or the Kolping network.

The third day was marked by a study visit. We were pleasantly surprised by the TAU organization, this socio-cultural youth center with a 30-year tradition with its huge number of rooms for various workshops, from teaching musical instruments, graphic design, 3D printing to art activities.

On the last day we had a very interesting lecture from a professor at the University of Palermo and a member of the MED (Associazione Italiana per l’Educazione ai Media e alla Comunicazione). We talked about media education. It is not just about technology, but also a way to understand the world in a broader context. Finally, Pietro introduced one of the instruments of active citizenship at the level of the European Union – the European citizens initiative, which allows us to propose a topic for discussion at the level of the European Parliament.

It was very intense training. In this short time, we have achieved a lot and made many friendships and interesting contacts with international partners. What’s more, ciao Palermo.

                                                                                                                                         Martina Kotorová

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