English | Dzongkha Monday, January 20, 2020

Making smart usage of the media

Samten Dolkar, Thimphu
Jul 11, 2019

Youth these days have access to information from a wide array of sources and spend most of their time surfing the internet and games.  But many don’t consume information and the time smartly. To tackle these issues, a community-based organization called Youth Advocacy Network conducted a three-day workshop for young college students.

The association help youths engage in policies and programme that is positive change driven.

From online addiction to social media fasting, a young group of 30 college students gathered to discuss and learn about tackling these issues through media literacy. The workshop saw students learn about sorting facts from fiction, minimizing their time gaming online, to end online bullying and to spend less time on social media.

“I can call myself a media literate, not that I can claim I know everything about media but I have certain ideas about it,” said Sonam Choden, a Participant.

“Before coming here, I thought I was a media literate. But on the very first day, the more I learned, the more I understood that I knew nothing about media literacy. It has been three days we have been here. So I am aware, I can at least say I am 50 per cent, if not 100 per cent, literate now,” added Kinga Tashi Wangmo, also a Participant.

Students went around pasting stickers in public spaces and vehicles, took initiative by sending a letter to fake account users, and started a hashtag challenge. They said, using social media for the benefit of the larger group is what actually defines media literacy.

“I think this three-day workshop is very important to me. As an aspiring teacher, I think in the capacity of a teacher, we could do a lot because that’s how I can keep the momentum going. I will not only keep whatever I learned or experienced within myself. As a teacher there is an opportunity to share, then disseminate, at the same time create more of such advocacy programme in the schools and for the benefit of school children and at the same time for the benefit of the larger community.” said Nim Dorji, a Participant.

“We train young advocates to develop advocacy materials or campaign content in a creative way. And they go around the communities and they talk to diverse which are identified as users to pass on their message and to reach out to the larger community and they drive the change. They try to reach out their message and persuade the change in others as well and not in themselves,” Tshedrup Dorji, the Coordinator for Youth Advocacy Network Bhutan, said.

The workshop saw social media influencer talk on media literacy. The three-day workshop ended yesterday. 

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