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JMSC hosts workshop in Myanmar to improve news literacy

For the fourth straight year, the JMSC has hosted a workshop aimed at spreading news literacy around Asia.

The 2015 Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia was held at the Myanmar Institute of Theology in Yangon, Myanmar, from 14 to 16 December. It was the first time the workshop has been held outside of Hong Kong, and the first to focus on south and south-east Asia.

The participants in the workshop were educators, who came to learn how to teach their students to judge the accuracy of information that floods in from all sides in the digital age.

The workshop was organised in collaboration with the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University in the United States. The instructors were Masato Kajimoto, Assistant Professor at the JMSC, and Richard Hornik, Director of Overseas Partnership Programs for the Center for News Literacy at Stony Brook University.

Participants—from China, Myanmar, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam and, for the first time, India—completed preparatory lessons for the workshop online before arriving in Yangon. This included finding examples of blurred lines of information from their own countries, and thinking about how news literacy concepts might be integrated into their own courses and curriculums.

Buroshiva Dasgupta, Director of the NSHM Institute of Media & Design in India, said that the course helped to bridge the gap between being a practising journalist and a media teacher:

‘With the increase in new media, there is a lot of fakery,’ he said. ‘How to tackle fake news, how to give authenticity to the news, is something to be learned, and something which has to be incorporated in our courses.’

The JMSC, in collaboration with Stony Brook University, has been at the forefront of promoting news literacy training in Asia. The Institute for News Literacy Fellows in Asia has been offering news literacy training to educators since 2012.