Breakout Session “Media Literacy: Tools for Building Resilience to Violent Extremist Propaganda”

Baku, April 27, AZERTAC

Breakout Session “Media Literacy: Tools for Building Resilience to Violent Extremist Propaganda” was moderated by Sally Reynolds, Director, Media & Learning.

It focused on a number of topics, including Why is Media and Information Literacy essential to global citizenship and civics education?; How can Media Literacy be included in the core curriculum of primary and middle school education?; Which research and resources can be highlighted as examples of best practices where Media Literacy plays a key role in developing critical thinking skills confronting violent extremist media messages?

Speakers included Ali Hasanov, the Azerbaijani President`s Assistant for Public and Political Affairs, Alton Grizzle, Programme Specialist, UNESCO, Maria Ranieri, Professor, University Florence, Renee Hobbs, Professor, University of Rhode Island, Sanjay Asthana, Professor, Middle Tennessee State University.

In his remarks, Ali Hasanov said it is very difficult to find a model of independent journalism in the world today. “It is obvious if we take conflicts in former Soviet countries.” “For example, the government of Armenia has ignored the four resolutions of the UN Security Council on the Armenia-Azerbaijan Nagorno-Karabakh conflict for more than 20 years. Are there any guarantees that journalists of a country, which disregards UN resolutions, would take an objective approach on the conflict? Definitely not because the Armenian media cover the events in accordance with the activities of the Armenian government.”

Ali Hasanov said: “Multiculturalism, tolerance reign in Azerbaijan, and we are promoting these values. Baku is hosting the UNAOC Global Forum. For three days we have been talking about multicultural, historic and cultural values of Azerbaijan, peaceful coexistence of different religions and ethnicities, mutual understanding and respect in the country. But look at the Armenian media, which called on member countries not to endorse the Baku Declaration. Why? Because the Armenian media acts in accordance with certain interests. Therefore we should try to ensure that transnational and local media outlets take a single journalistic position, and act in accordance with a single code of conduct and ethics.” “I believe that Azerbaijani journalists will benefit from the ideas promoted by the UNAOC Forum. Azerbaijan advocates universal ideas and the spread of pluralist media,” he added.

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