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Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue Week

Media, the Internet, libraries and other information providers play an essential role in the way other peoples, cultures, religions and ethnic groups are perceived. Media and information providers also have the fundamental power to promote diversity, pluralism and intercultural dialogue.

Therefore, a critical understanding the functions of media and information providers and their contribution to social inclusion, open societies, combating of prejudices and cultural stereotypes and dissolving barriers is indispensible in promoting a culture of peace, tolerance; all of which are connected to development, democracy and good governance. Fostering media and information literate societies enables people to acquire this critical understanding and necessary skills.

The objective of MILID Week is to shine the spotlight on the importance of media and information literate citizenries to foster inter-cultural dialogue, and mutual understanding. It underscores how interwoven media and information competencies (knowledge, skills and attitude) and intercultural competencies are.

The initiative is planned within the framework of the UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Programme Literacy and brings together universities representing all regions of the world and many other stakeholders who are involved in MIL and intercultural dialogue. Activities include debates, research and the MILID partners meeting.

UNITWIN Cooperation Programme on Media and Information Programme Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue is the first international network of its kind. The network is made up of the following eight universities ensuring diverse cultural experiences: University of Barcelona (Spain), Cairo University (Egypt), University of the West Indies (Jamaica), University of São Paulo (Brazil), Temple University (United States), Tsinghua University (China), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah (Morocco).

As José Manuel Pérez Tornero, Director of the Center of Communication and Education at the University of Barcelona noted, the “diversity in the network enriches the initiative. We have a very broad concept of media and information literacy and we believe that transfer experience and knowledge from one place to another is necessary”.

The first MILID was hosted by the Autonomous University of Barcelona in association with the International Association on Media Education (MENTOR) and other members of UNESCO-UNAOC MILID International University Network.

MILID Week 2014 will be hosted by the Tsinghua University, China.

UNESCO invites stakeholders all around the world to spread the word about MILID  week and to organise other national and regional events around this period as a show of unified stance to promoting MIL as an engaging civic education movement.