The United Nations campaign for understanding between faiths and cultures, known as the Alliance of Civilizations, today launched a website designed to foster dialogue and debate on media literacy.
The online tool, called the Media Literacy Education Clearinghouse, collects together information from around the world on media literacy education, media education policy and youth-produced media, and is available in Arabic, English and Spanish.
In a statement released today, the Alliance said that recent research has shown that children and youth spend twice as much time immersed in electronic media – including television, the internet and video games – as they do receiving formal education at school.
The website www.aocmedialiteracy.org focuses on developing the critical thinking skills necessary to digest the information children and young people face every day.
In a related development, the Alliance announced today that it providing seed funding of up to $20,000 to seven outstanding youth-led projects that aim to enhance intercultural and inter-religious dialogue.
The winning projects are Speaking and Listening with Respect – an international movement of Catholic students; a project to empower women for political leadership led by the International Union of Socialist Youth; an initiative on the role of youth in creating an intercultural society organized by an Argentine youth organization; God and Me – a web magazine launched by young people in France; two projects in Ghana and the Philippines on cultural diversity for youth leaders; and the Interethnic Youth Alliance in Serbia.
The Alliance of Civilizations campaign was launched by the UN in 2005 to help overcome prejudices between nations, cultures and religions.