Former BBC journalist to host media literacy workshop

Award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker Janette Ballard will host a free workshop on news, media and social media next Saturday.

Ballard, who is a leading expert in media literacy, will spend two hours discussing media – in all its forms – and how people relate to them.

The workshop is part of the GenZ project led by the Commonwealth Center for Connected Learning Foundation (3CL) and supported by Times of Malta and the University of Malta.

Aimed at people born in 1995 or later, the GenZ Project seeks to inspire young consumers and media producers to think about who makes up media, what role they play in their lives, and whether the media should be regulated.

Anyone who qualifies as a ‘Generation Z’ member can submit their views on these and other related issues through the GenZ website. Contributions can take the form of blog posts, videos, audio, infographics, images, cartoons, or any other type of mixed media.

The top two submissions will earn their authors a one-week internship with the BBC and Guardian in the UK. Contributions will be accepted until the end of February.

Ballard spent 15 years with the BBC, working as a director and producer on shows such as Panorama. She helped the BBC’s fact-checking service “Reality Check” go global and subsequently launched all of the BBC’s media and public information literacy programs. They include Young Reporter (UK) and Beyond Fake News (Kenya, Nigeria, India, Brazil, Serbia).

“Media, news and digital culture are not magic wands, but part of a set of tools at our disposal to deal with today’s confusing media landscape, where the line has blurred between the consumer and the content producer, ”Ballard said.

“The ‘traditional media’ as we know it is under constant pressure to change and adapt to the needs of people formerly known as the audience, if they wish to remain relevant. Especially if it wants to function as a public good.

Two hour workshop

Ballard’s two-hour interactive and hands-on workshop is designed to engage participants in thinking, exploring and discussing the digital world and their relationship to it.

Participants can expect to leave the workshop with practical tools to help verify and assess information and a better understanding of media, social media and the ethical questions they ask users, among others.

“Disinformation and attempts to manipulate old and new media are not going away. Janette’s workshop is a taste of the need to invest in media and digital skills at all levels of society, ”said Alex Grech, Director of 3CL.

“Although the GenZ project is aimed at younger people, Saturday’s workshop is also open to those interested in media freedoms, regardless of the platforms they use to secure information.”

The workshop will take place at 10:00 am at the Valletta Design Cluster on Saturday January 15th. Register to participate online. Registration is free and on a first come, first served basis. COVID-19 regulations will be observed.

Contribute to the GenZ project and get a chance to win a one-week internship at the BBC or the Guardian.

Independent journalism costs money. Times of Malta support for the price of a coffee.

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