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Youth Camp for Media Literacy held on Vlašić: Youngsters learned how to detect risky media content

Alisa Karović
Seventeen young people participated in Youth Camp devoted to the empowerment of media literacy and production skills, which took place on Vlašić mountain, from May 30th till June 3rd.
Information manipulation, fake news and media reporting from 1990s were some of the topics covered by the camp where youth from couple of towns from B&H, with the assistance and practical work got the opportunity to create media content on their own. For many of them this was a rare opportunity to examine their levels of media literacy and get familiar with basic steps in creation of various forms of content, such as reportage, photos and brief video clips.

“I did not have foreknowledge in this subject area and that was one of the critical reasons for signing up for this camp. Within the topic, I was mostly interested in the process of content creation by media and how such process can influence social movements (streams?),” said Mirza Arifović, 21 years old participant from Tešanj. 

This camp provided Nikolina Aleksić, camp participant who holds a degree in journalism, with the opportunity to practically apply and upgrade knowledge on media literacy obtained during her studies. 

“Video shooting and editing is of top priority for me since I used to have only subliminal knowledge in this subject area. I was dreaming to work in printed media therefore I got astonished by the fact that I can read newspapers more than 100 years old.” 

Empowerment on the field of media literacy among youth, especially through informal media education, is important because as a matter of fact we in B&H do not have education institutions which devote sufficient attention to this topic through regular curriculas – is an opinion shared by Hilma Unkić, project coordinator in Mediacentar Foundation, which was the organizer of this event. 

Emir Zulejhić, member of team, as one of the educators in camp holds that camp can contribute to increase in media literacy since it covers questions as rising the consciousness and critically approaching everything that takes place in online sphere. Zulejhić held a lecture on fake news and fact-checking. 

The biggest problem is the general lack of critical thinking in B&H society, not only in relation to the media, but speaking about this problem – it is certainly media literacy. We have very clear reason why it is so since media literacy in formal education is non existent, all the way up until senior years at the universities (e.g. third year on Journalism Studies), which is of course meaningless and moreover absurd.”

Youth Camp held on Vlašić is first out of four camps in total that were meant to be organized in the period to come, taking place on different locations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Camps are being held within the project “Against radicalization and violent extremism in B&H public space” conducted by Mediacentar Foundation in collaboration with the Center for Democratization “Naša zajednica” (trans. “Our Community”) and Center for Youth “Kvart” (trans. “Neighborhood”) with the support of Netherlands Embassy in Bosnia and Herzegovina. 

This article has been created as a practical assignment on Youth Camp for Media Literacy Vlašić during which participant created the media content under the keen eye of supervisors. Article was prepared by Antonela Opačak and Emina Muminović. For video responsible: Virdžinija Ugrčić, Amar Čabaravdić  and Dragana Barać.