The Bhutan Media Foundation (BMF) organised a half-day Intermediate Media Literacy Training for students here in the campus on Friday 24th July 2020.
The aim of the media literacy training was part of BMF’s efforts to make all sections of the Bhutanese population capable of creating, consuming, analysing, and using all forms of media positively for democratic participation and empowerment. For prospective future school teachers, knowledge and awareness of responsible, sensible, and intelligent use of media were seen as important considering they would soon be teaching and guiding young children across the Bhutanese school system. The training covered a wide range of topics including different forms of media, power of social media, whether to join or be left out, individual versus institutional reach to people, use of filter in media consumption, the influence of negative post, benefits of social media, fake news, misinformation, disinformation, things to love about social media, creating junks in social media, social media policy and individual responsibilities.
The training emphasised the need to understand how an individual’s social media posts can have a much wider reach to the public than mainstream news medium and institutions. “It is very important for individuals to create media that benefits society and not influence negatively”, said one of the facilitators.
The training indeed has proven to be very educative and useful for the students in not only learning new information about the positive use of media but also being aware of the potential negative impact of the use of media and ethical concerns and issues related to healthy use of media. For instance, Beenu Gurung, one of the student participants shared, “I did not know there is a social media guideline and that all must follow while posting any stuff in social media”. Another student Kinley Payma remarked, “I didn’t know that social media can cause sleep deprivation, loneliness and mood swings”. For Indra Chhetri, she thought that the training has given her new insights on social media ethics and guidelines that one needs to follow whereas Norbu Wangdi expressed that he learned the pros and cons of using social media through this training.
All 170 graduating Bachelor of Education students attended the training. Mr Needrup Zangpo, Executive Director of BMF and Mrs Namgay Zam, Executive Director, Journalist Association of Bhutan (JAB) facilitated the training that was highly interactive and engaging in approach.
Media Focal Person