Media and digital literacy

  • Author: The Global Media Migration Academy
  • Level: Beginner
  • Time: 2 hours
  • Quizzes:
  • Assessment: 2

Course description

Audiences who consume media are often overwhelmed by the sheer volume of information and messages they receive daily, and in many cases are unable to distinguish facts from falsehoods, and it is arguable they may not even be aware of the need to do so. Disinformation actors and anti-migrant groups have found fertile ground in the digital sphere for the spread of toxic content targeting migrants, refugees and other minorities - and it's doing real harm, spreading fear and xenophobia, damaging social cohesion, and in some cases inciting violence against vulnerable groups.  In that context, having the critical thinking capacity and the digital skills to navigate the digital world has never been more important for media professionals - so much of what we do in our daily lives now takes place online. The journalist and founder of Storyful, Mark Little, describes the role of journalists in the digital world as "separating the news from the noise".This module will look at a range of issues including media and digital literacy, mis-and disinformation, and how to developed critical skills and capacities such as verification; curation; and using user generated content to report online, particularly on migration issues. Through the lessons, you will develop your knowledge and understanding of issues including misinformation and disinformation targeting migrants, as well as acquiring a critical awareness of how migrants and other minorities are framed by rogue actors and populist media. You will also develop requisite skills to work professionally and ethically.

Course content

1. Knowledge Assessment 

2. Media and digital literacy (5 Lessons)

L1. Digital literacy essentials

  • What is digital literacy
  • Why does this matter? 
  • What is media literacy 
  • How do social media algorithms work exactly 
  • Social media and toxic content about migration 
  • What about viral spread on the internet?  
  • What about so-called mainstream media? 
  • Can social media be used for good and what tools might help counter false narratives?
  • Social media posts on platforms such as Facebook and Instagram 
  • Using Twitter effectively 
  • Using SEO effectively 
  • Some general tips for working online and reporting on migrant stories 

L2. Misinformation
  • Introduction
  • What is Misinformation
  • What is disinformation
  • What about ‘fake news’? 
  • Misinformation and harm 
  • Misinformation, migrants and harm 
  • Misinformation, migrants and COVID -19
  • Misinformation and democratic values 
  • Why do people believe misinformation 
  • Difficulty of rooting out misinformation 
  • Freedom of expression and misinformation 
  • Solutions to misinformation
  • Pre-bunking misinformation against migrants 
  • How to spot false information? 
  • UN Verified fighting misinformation

L3. Verification
  • What is verification and why does it matter
  • What is ‘User Generated Content’ 
  • How and why do media companies use videos like this (and why do we need to be careful) 
  • What is a ‘deep fake’ 
  • How can you spot a "deep fake”
  • How do I verify a piece of digital content? 
  • Provenance 
  • Source 
  • Location
  • Time and date  
  • Motivation 
  • Confirmation steps  
  • Permission, ethics and protecting sources 

L4. Understanding news and the news agenda
  • Introduction
  • What is news? 
  • What makes the news 
  • What is the role of news, and for journalists 
  • What is the media cycle? 
  • Media types 
  • News media and bias 
  • What are filter bubbles and echo chambers? 
  • Media Effects Theories
  • Young audiences and news 
  • How all of this impacts on media coverage of migration 
  • The problems of reporting on migration  
  • Solutions 

L5. Case study: social media and toxic content about migration
  • The importance of visuals and visual media framing – why does it matter? 
  • Visual framing of migrants and refugees in the media  
  • A case study of visual framing of migrants and refugees – the case of media in Serbia 
  • Visual framing of migrants and refugees in Serbia’s print and online media 2015-2020
  • Sensationalism and tabloidisation of visual media coverage – confrontation of images and images’ captions/headlines 

3. Knowledge Test

4. Evaluation

5. Exam / Certificate of completion
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The Global Media Migration Academy

The Foundation Course consist of a series of diverse connected modules. 'Media and Digital Literacy' is the second module of a high standard educational programme developed by IOM.
Our rights-based course provides a global overview about the different trends, developments, policies and laws governing migration, as well as offering practical guidance for ethical, safe and effective migration reporting.It offers participants an understanding of the various aspects of migration, the media cycle and digital environment in the context of migration including online and social media; learning to understand statistics and use them to confirm and debunk information. Finally, it offers the opportunity to learn create compelling alternative and engaging stories on migrant and the migrant experience.