My final post of 2020 looks to the future, in highlighting the Seoul Declaration on Media and Information Literacy for Everyone and by Everyone: A Defence against Disinfodemics which was an outcome of this year's Global Media and Information Literacy week. After the usual preambles, it states the following (below), and then lists actions: for government, for "civil society, media, youth, academic institutions and researchers", for the private sector "including Internet communications companies", and for UNESCO. There is much collaborative work laid out in these actions, which it would be good to address in a (post)pandemic 2021.
"We understand that MIL on its own is not a cure for all problems, including the pandemic, but insist that MIL be further recognized and valued throughout educational, social and economic systems and that it be applied as part of a more proactive approach in order to build a sustainable and inclusive society;
"We stress that enhancing media and information literacy for all, which addresses critical thinking, provides a sustainable approach to strengthen people’s critical thinking and their power of discernment about how they engage with information and communication technologies – especially in times of crisis.
"We urge therefore that “Media and Information Literacy for Everyone and by Everyone” should be advanced in the age of digital connectivity. In this connection, we commit to:
"1. Promoting MIL within wider efforts to tackle divides such as in access to information and quality education, which have been notably widened by the pandemic, to assure no one is left behind;
"2. Attracting more participation in MIL and MIL policy from Internet communications companies, academia, NGOs, international and regional organizations, communications regulators, media, civil society, youth and communities;
"3. Advocating for intensified MIL initiatives to tackle the disinfodemic, climate change, etc., while also urging respect for freedom of expression and access to information which are not only human rights but also part of the solution to disinformation;
"4. Building MIL considerations into ethical frameworks within institutions and companies, so as to ensure transparent, inclusive and safe development of technologies such as AI;
"5. Advocate for MIL initiatives to tackle technological determinism."
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink rose after rain, September 2020