Jamaica commemorating Global Media and Information Literacy Week

Kingston, 21 October 2021 – The Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport, the Honourable Olivia Grange, says the Jamaica National Commission is coordinating the country’s participation in activities to commemorate the Global Media and Information Literacy Week.

The idea for the declaration of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week within the United Nations system was first proposed by Minister Grange.

Jamaica’s proposal was accepted by UNESCO’s Executive Board and its Commission on Communication and Information prior to the United Nations General Assembly adopting a resolution earlier this year to proclaim October 24 to 31 annually as the Global Media and Information Literacy Week.

Minister Grange, who chairs the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO, said that Global Media and Information Literacy Week “is intended to deal with issues such as the proliferation of disinformation and misinformation as well as improving access to and use of information, media and digital communications technologies by people everywhere.”

As such, the Jamaica National Commission for UNESCO has collaborated with the Broadcasting Commission of Jamaica to host a virtual panel discussion titled ‘Tackling Jamaica’s Media and Information Literacy Deficit’ on Wednesday, October 27, 2021 at 10:00am.

The webinar will discuss several issues including: the changes that are required to ensure Jamaica’s survival in the emerging digital media economy; measures to promote and encourage media and information literacy in Jamaica; as well as actions to ensure inclusivity, safety and security within the digital media ecosystem.

The panellists will include Professor Daniel Coore from the Department of Computing at the UWI, Mona; Dr Maurice MacNaughton, Director of the Centre of Excellence for IT-enabled Business Innovation at Mona School of Business and Management; and Dr Deborah Hickling Gordon, Member of the UNESCO Expert Facility for Cultural and Media Economy and Diversity.

Minister Grange said it was not only “important for citizens to develop the skills to critically analyse and use media and information,” but as a Small Island Developing State “Jamaica must take steps to develop media literacy which is critical for taking advantage of opportunities in the fourth industrial revolution.”

This year, the Global Media and Information Literacy Week is being led by the Republic of South Africa under the theme, ‘Media and Information Literacy for the Public Good’.

The feature conference being organised by South Africa with the support of UNESCO will include a presentation from Mr Mark-Jeffery Deans, Librarian at the University of the West Indies, focusing on good practices and innovative approaches to media and information literacy within youth organisations.

Additionally, a contingent from the University of the West Indies Library and Information Studies Student Society will participate in the virtual Youth Hackathon which invites young people from across the world to design innovative solutions to a defined set of social challenges.

END

Minister's charge

I remain hopeful because of the giftedness of the Jamaican people; their warmth and creativity; their dynamism and indomitable spirit that have resulted in excellence in all sectors.

It is by tapping into the gifts and awakening the spirit of the Jamaican people that we will, by God’s grace, re-group, re-engineer and re-open to a brighter future with Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport.

Olivia Grange

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