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Watch Again: Media Literacy Monday Webinars

With an over-arching theme exploring the power of collaboration, this series of webinars explored a range of topics with contributions from extremely well-placed experts in their field.

MIL without Borders was the title of the first webinar which took place on the 2nd November 2020. With contributors from across Europe, this webinar explored what kind of collaboration is taking place at an international level across policy development, research, funding and project development that might help to the improve MIL outcomes in the long term. This session also considered the evolving nature of media regulation across Europe and the increasingly important role that the promotion of media literacy has in that mix.

Introduced by Prof. Brian O’Neill, Director of Research, Enterprise & Innovation Services, TUD and Chair of MLI Steering Group, this webinar was moderated by Martina Chapman, National Coordinator for Media Literacy Ireland and speakers included:

  • Urška Umek, Head of Media Unit at the Council of Europe’s Information Society Department
  • Maria Donde, Head of International Content Policy, Ofcom and Vice Chair of the European Platform of Regulatory Authorities (EPRA).
  • Bronagh Walton, European Commission Policy Officer, within the Media Convergence and Social Media unit
  • Lubos Kuklis, Chief Executive of the Council for Broadcasting and Retransmission of Slovakia, and Board member of the European Regulators Group for Audiovisual Media Services (ERGA).
  • Celene Craig, Deputy Chief Executive of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland.

The second webinar Who's influencing who? A look at social media influencing in Ireland took place on the 9thNovember 2020. In this webinar speakers provided insight into the world of social media influencers and explored what the media literacy implications are and what role MLI might have in promoting media literacy in the context of social media influencing.

For the uninitiated, there was an introduction to social media influencing, followed by a look at the ethics of influencing and how the advertising code applies to bloggers/influencers. There was also an opportunity to gain some insight into the challenges and opportunities around social media activism as well as a look at social media influencing and children.

Introduced by Joe Hoban, Head of Communications & Corporate Engagement Communications, Events and Corporate Engagement for RTÉ, this webinar was moderated by Christine Bohan, Deputy Editor of TheJournal.ie, speakers included:

Danielle Courtney, BA in Sociology and Social Policy, MA in Digital Marketing Strategy

  • Lorraine Harton, Filmmaker, Producer and media tutor.
  • Orla Twomey, Chief Executive of the Advertising Standards Authority for Ireland (ASAI)
  • Dr. Tanya Lokot, Assistant Professor in Digital Media & Society in the School of Communications, Dublin City University
  • Fardus Sultan, PhD Candidate, an Associate Lecturer in marketing and cyberpsychology and Director of FarendNet
  • Catriona Mulcahy, Digital Content Officer in Webwise
  • Jane McGarrigle, Project Officer with Webwise and is also a member of the National Advisory Council for Online Safety
  • Isabelle Courtney, Freelance Journalist and Librarian

On Monday 16thNovember, the theme was News Literacy Now. This webinar explored what is meant by news literacy and the factors contributing to a news environment where the need for news literacy is more urgent than ever before.

Bringing together international experts, this session also provided the audience with practical tips on improving their own news literacy and looked at some existing and emerging tools and initiatives.

Introduced by Susan Daly, Managing Editor of Journal Media, and MLI Steering Group member, the webinar was moderated by Dr Niamh Kirk from UCD’s School of Information and Communication Studies, speakers included:

  • Dr Ciarán Mc Mahon, Director of the Institute of Cyber Security, historian, philosopher of psychology and author.
  • Dr. Eileen Culloty, postdoctoral researcher at the DCU Institute for Future Media and Journalism and H2020 project Provenance lead.
  • Charles Salter, President of the News Literacy Project, USA.
  • Lisa Buckley, Director of Communications and Programmes for NewsBrands Ireland.

MIL evaluation: Test, Iterate, Improve’ was the title of the penultimate webinar in the series which took place on the 23rd November 2020.

Hosted by Media Literacy Ireland (supported by the BAI), in collaboration with Ofcom’s Making Sense of Media team, it will explore the evolving nature of evaluation and consider why MIL interventions have proven so difficult to evaluate and how we might be able to better evaluate MIL projects in the future.

Introduced by Stephanie Comey, Senior Manager BAI and Vice-Chair of the MLI Steering Group, this webinar was moderated by Alison Preston, Co-Director of Ofcom’s Making Sense of Media programme and speakers included:

  • Prof. Dean Karlan, Professor of Economics and Finance and co-founder of ImpactMatters
  • Dr Charmaine McGowan, Scientific Officer in the Human Health and Nutrition directorate of safefood
  • Dr. Vicky O’Rourke, Lecturer in Marketing at the School of Business in Letterkenny Institute of Technology
  • Nicola McConnell, Senior research and evaluation officer within the NSPCC’s Research and Evidence Team
  • Maarit Jaakkola, Co-Director of Nordicom, a centre for Nordic media research at the University of Gothenburg in Sweden
  • Alberto Fernandes, Ofcom

The final webinar in the November series took place on the 30th November and considered the next chapter of MIL: AI Data and Ethics.

Artificial intelligence (AI) technologies, such as machine learning (ML), are embedded in everyday communication services. But what is AI? What new MIL skills might be required by citizens in order to make fully informed choices in relation to digital products and services? This webinar explored these and other questions and considered what future role MLI might have in supporting the development of MIL skills around AI.

Introduced by Ross Keane, Director of the Irish Film Institute and MLI Steering Group member, this webinar was moderated by Prof. Eugenia Siapera, Head of the School of Information and Communication Studies at UCD and Director of the Centre for Digital Policy. Speakers included:

  • Dr. Susan Leavy, PhD in computer science, AI and philosophy, UCD
  • Dr. Marguerite Barry, Assistant Professor School of Information and Communication Studies, UCD
  • Liz Farries, Assistant Professor of the School of Information Studies Digital Policy Program, UCD.
  • Dr. Judith Möller, Assistant Professor for Political Communication at the Department of Communication Science at the University of Amsterdam
  • Dr. Niamh McCole, Broadcast Compliance specialist with RTÉ Television.