Media Literacy Week is an ongoing annual media literacy project and campaign organised by the Department for Media Education and Audiovisual Culture of the National Audiovisual Institute, Finland. The first Media Literacy Week was celebrated in February 2013, evolving from international Safer Internet Day Celebrations, and it has been a true success story.
Media Literacy Weeks main objectives are to improve the media literacy skills of children, young people and educators and to raise awareness related to children and media. The Media Literacy Weeks objectives are linked to broader goals in Finnish media and information literacy and media education: to empower and educate citizens to be responsible, critical, creative and curious in relation to media. Media Literacy Week is one of the key actions in Finnish Safer Internet Project.
Media Literacy Week works as a co-operational project targeting schools, kindergartens, youth houses, libraries, museums and other local institutions. It also provides online campaigns in which anyone can participate, thus respecting the idea of lifelong learning. Themes, ideas and work plans for the Media Literacy Week are developed in close co-operation with approximately 50 organisations, including governmental agencies, NGOs, media houses and industry representatives.
Participating in Media Literacy Week
Media Literacy Week partners have three primary ways to co-operate:
- Participate in working groups creating campaigns and resources
- Plan and implement your own campaign related to Media Literacy Week objectives
- Provide media space or other financial support for the week
All three ways have been widely used, and many of the partners combine different ways of participating. As a result, Media Literacy Week is more than a campaign; it is a network for organisations promoting media education. It helps different organisations to develop synergy and avoid unnecessary overlap in their work, thereby enabling more efficient use of resources.
Planning and preparing resources for Media Literacy Week starts annually in August and lasts until January. During this time, the working groups meet regularly, and the National Audiovisual Institute supports the partners planning individual campaigns and negotiates free media space and other ways of promoting the message of Media Literacy Week. Target groups (schools, youth houses, libraries, etc.) are invited to register for Media Literacy Week in order to receive ideas and teaching material packages. This helps them to plan their own, locally meaningful Media Literacy Week activities. After the campaign week, the vast majority of the resources are free for anyone to use.
Campaigns and materials planned for the week involve various themes, such as hate speech and disinformation, creative personal media production, respectful online behaviour and media ethics, big data, online security, journalism and being an active citizen in the mediated world. Campaigns have been implemented as lesson and activity plans, websites, competitions, quizzes, videos, games, articles and a variety of other types of activities. The richness of resources provided enables all target groups to find suitable ways of implementing Media Literacy Week activities. All participating institutions are encouraged to organise Media Literacy Week activities locally in the second week of February.