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YE “Media Literacy Info Lab” 23-30 July 2022- Struga, N.Macedonia

“Media Literacy Info Lab” is a Youth Exchange, co-funded by the Erasmus+ program of the
European Union, which aims to educate the youth about spotting and protecting ourselves from
misinformation and ways to combat it. Although it’s not a skill that is gained overnight, and it is
never perfected, spreading awareness about media literacy and its importance is a good way to
begin. In this program, people from 6 different countries came together to discuss and learn
more about the topic. With our base at the Red Cross Hotel Solferino in Struga, situated right
next to Ohrid Lake, we had plenty of space and a calm environment to develop our media
literacy and our critical thinking alongside it, through various workshops, team-building activities,
and debates.

We arrived at the venue on the 22nd of July, where the day of our arrival and the day after
were solely focused on getting to know each other, and soon after we got straight to work. The
workshops mostly consisted of five to six groups, where we were each given a specific topic and
were encouraged to brainstorm on it. We often worked in groups where we researched the
different components of media literacy, and we learnt the importance of the CRAAP method, a
method used to determine if the media that we are currently consuming is current, relevant and
if it holds any authority, accuracy or purpose. We also discussed the 5 laws of media literacy
and information (MIL) and how well we thought they were implemented in our countries.

The highlight of the project was when we got the chance to talk to Onur Özcan, a well-known
scene writer. He was so kind to make time in his busy schedule to give us a presentation about
cinema as a source of media information and how it should also be treated with caution. He
talked about the 25th frame, a technique often used to advertise a product, showing it on screen
for only a fraction of a second, short enough to not be seen but enough for the image to be
ingrained in our subconscious and to influence the audience to purchase the product. It was an
incredible opportunity to learn and see examples of product placement and the power it holds. It
was incredible to learn to view cinema as a source of media and to treat it as such, being careful
about what is being displayed, and always take every bit of information with a bit of salt.
Alongside the workshops, we had adequate free time where we used to explore Struga and its
locals. We got to try local cuisine and learn about local myths and legends. We also got the
chance to visit Ohrid, a city of history, where we participated in a tour visiting various places of
interest, full of art and history. The nights were dedicated to cultural events, where each country
present had a chance to show off their country’s cuisine and tradition, song, and dance. We all
had an amazing time appreciating each other’s nationalities.

As mentioned above, media literacy is not a skill learnt overnight. And it’s never perfected, it is
something that we have to improve and adapt as media sources become plentiful. I deeply
believe that these kinds of projects are an amazing opportunity for people to expand their
knowledge and practice their skills. We will continue to spread the message about media
literacy, and although I’m sure we will all miss the energizers and workshops, the connection
between us as people runs deeper. I am sure that our friendships will continue till the end of