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Google launches #ThinkFirst campaign to promote media, information literacy in PH

In line with the 8th Global Media and Information Literacy Week on Oct. 24-31 led by UNESCO, Google and partners launched the #ThinkFirst campaign to bring awareness on and unite diverse stakeholders to promote media and information literacy in the country.

Google also announced a grant to the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) as part of the Google News Initiative’s objective to help curb misinformation in global and local news.

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“Media and information literacy is a key priority for Google. Together with partners from the public, NGO, and private sectors, we hope to play an active and lead role in helping Filipinos build critical thinking skills and knowledge needed to identify unverified news and misinformation,” said Yves Gonzalez, head of Government and Public Affairs, Google Philippines.

The campaign kicked off with a forum held at the Far Eastern University in Manila, gathering media, educators, student journalists, and key opinion leaders.

AIJC will be spearheading a program to educate teachers on what news literacy means in the digital age.

Training

AIJC plans to train around 300 senior high school teachers in public and private schools nationwide to prepare them in teaching 9,000 students to recognize misinformation and disinformation through news literacy class sessions by December 2019. Educational videos will be made available on YouTube to be used by teachers as resource materials.

“We look forward to working with Google and other partners in helping fight misinformation and disinformation in the country,” said Ramon Tuazon, president of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. “We need to rekindle interest in the news and help citizens, especially the youth, rediscover its importance. Teachers play a central role in helping their students become discerning in ‘reading’ news stories across different media platforms.”

The program is designed to have students know the relevance of news literacy in their day-to-day lives and equip them with the knowledge to verify news and other information they access online. AIJC also wants young students to actively engage in challenging misinformation and disinformation on social media and be champions in building a better internet space for everyone.

In addition, the campaign aims to have the Department of Education include news literacy as part of the Media and Information Literacy core course across the country.

The grant is part of a US$10 million global Google News Initiative media literacy campaign funded by Google.org. Google aims to continue partnering with various organizations around the world to further spread the importance of media literacy.

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