Filipino NGO wins UNESCO prize for Media and Information Literacy advocacy

Published by rudy Date posted on December 13, 2021

by, 13 Dec 2021

MANILA, Philippines — UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy Alliance has awarded Manila-based Out of the Box Literacy Initiative first prize in the 2021 Global Media and Information Literacy Awards for its projects for media literacy and against disinformation.

According to a press release, the Global MIL Awards recognize educators, librarians, artists, activists, policymakers, NGOs and other individuals and groups that are “integrating MIL in an innovative way in their work and related activities.”

OOTB, which has been operating since 2014, is the first Filipino organization to win the prize since the Global MIL Awards were launched in 2015.

Among its recent projects are the #IWASFAKE Remote Learning Resources that were released to address the infodemic and the shift to online learning because of the COVID-19 pandemic. These modules can be accessed for free on their website.

“‘Iwas’ in #IWASFAKE stands for the four key habits against disinformation: Ikalma ang sarili (Pause and calm down); Wag basta maniniwala (Be skeptical); Alamin ang source at konteksto ng impormasyon (Check the source and context of the information); and, Salain bago i-share at sitahin ang nagkakalat ng mali (Filter what you share and call out disinformation),” OOTB says in the release.

OOTB has also produced the #MIL4Democracy Handbook that contains 18 lesson plans meant to teach young Filipinos about their rights and duties as digital citizens, the organization said.

The organization currently co-runs — with Mano Amiga Philippines and Meta (formerly Facebook) — the Youth Leaders Incubator, a mentorship program for Filipino youth advocacy organizations.

The spread of misinformation and disinformation — seen as a factor in the coming 2022 elections — has prompted initiatives on fact-checking as well as on media and information literacy to promote critical thinking and a better appreciation of democratic institutions.

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