The late great Nelson Mandela famously noted, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world”. Media and information literacy is fundamental to the promise of education for all.
The current information ecosystem keeps evolving in complex ways – opening up new opportunities but also challenges. It is hard to conceive of the public good being advanced, if the public is disempowered by false and misleading content, conspiracies theories and hate speech.
However, media and information literacy empowers people to develop themselves and their societies through enhanced capacities in communication and information.
Media and information literate people are equipped to better respond to potentially harmful kinds of content.
As the world recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic and continues to grapple with the alarming rise in disinformation, media and information literacy comes to the fore as a sustainable solution for building public resilience and for advancing the role of information as a public good.
Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2021 will highlight the importance of strengthening media and information literacy for all, looking towards a post-pandemic world. The priority is to empower citizens to engage with information while respecting the rights of others, to advance knowledge societies, and to combat expressions that are shown to harm human rights, peace and the public good.