MED-02
Media Literacy, Fake News and Media Education in Central Asia

Convenors:
Jack Hodgson (Oklahoma State University)
Karlyga Myssayeva (Al-Farabi Kazakh National University)
Chair:
Jack Hodgson
Discussant:
Karlyga Myssayeva
Theme:
MED
Location:
Room B17
Sessions:
Friday 11 October, 14:00-15:45

Abstract:

Digital media, media literacy and "fake news" in Central Asia, as in other parts of the world, are becoming more prevalent and citizens are starting to understand that they need to take measures to combat the onslaught. This panel will examine how to share knowledge and experiences to collaboratively develop educational projects promoting media literacy in local languages for use in schools and universities in Central Asia. Topics include integration of Digital and Media Literacy to the Curriculum of Higher Education Institutions in Central Asia countries; how to discern facts from falsehoods, information from opinion and possess such skills as fact checking and advanced searching for data and analyzing the data. The panel's comparative analysis will be significant for subsequent examination of the region's digital media, media literacy, media education and fact checking systems. Using both empirical and qualitative methods, panelists will compare recent changes and ongoing challenges about media literacy and education in Central Asia. They will address relevant research questions, including: What are the principle challenges and opportunities for media education instructors and students in Central Asia? What strategies and policies might best address those challenges within the political, economic, cultural, and religious traditions of each country while adhering to the values of objective, fair, balanced, accurate and ethical journalism? How to help to promote media literacy, digital literacy and critical thinking among university and high school students, and local communities in Central Asia? Do new programs, curricula and pedagogical methods have sufficient impact on the universities and the ministries that oversee them? Should journalism educators in Central Asia demand constructive digital, media literacy education standards that reflect regional realities? Is there -- or can there be -- a paradigm shift in media literacy programs at regional universities? Panelists will discuss the importance of international cooperation in media literacy education and greater adaptation of international experiences and best practices in journalists' training and educational institutions. They will also promote greater exchanges of teaching materials, faculty, professional networks and experiences in the region. All the panelists have worked, taught and conducted journalism and mass communication research in Central Asia.