In projects by the European Union that relate to the development of critical thinking and media literacy, main efforts are aimed at young people and the way they perceive and use news and information, primarily from the Internet, as the dominant part of their media ecosystem
“Democracy should allow deep disputes to be discussed publicly in a civilized manner. This means listening to a different opinion, debating with someone with a different opinion, recognizing misinformation, developing critical thinking and becoming media literate,” said the head of the European Union delegation, Samuel Zbogar, at today’s panel discussion, which was held at the Center for Balkan Cooperation – LOA in Tetovo, where EU projects in the country working on the development of media literacy were presented.
Zbogar added that this event is being held only days before the Media Days event, an annual media conference between the European Commission and the Western Balkans, which will be held for the first time in Skopje at the beginning of next week in the presence of European Commissioner for Enlargement, Johannes Hahn.
Minister of Education and Science, Arber Ademi, who paid special attention to youth and media literacy, was also present at the panel discussion.
“Critical thinking is especially important for students to develop from the earliest of ages, because it is only this way they will grow as individuals and whole generations. They will be able to change the current situation in all spheres in society, that is, they will be able to participate or be direct creators of changes for a better tomorrow, “said Minister Ademi.
Other speakers in their talks also paid special attention to youth and media literacy given the fact that it is popular opinion that it should be included in the educational process.
Filip Stojanovski, from the Metamorphosis Foundation, said that in the efforts in spreading media literacy and critical thinking, one should always keep in mind the inclusiveness, ie the ethnic and linguistic diversity of citizens, noting that members of all ethnic groups are interested in this issue. He also quoted a public opinion survey from last year, conducted by the Foundation, which says that only 7-8% of citizens read newspapers, and only 9-10% listen to the radio, adding that the habit of reading is very important for acquiring skills which develops critical thinking.