The 2017 survey of Alpha Research showed that almost half of young people aged 18-30 do not understand the concept of “fake news” or have difficulty recognizing such pieces of news in the media flow; young people at that are the ones who are likely to have the largest future impact on the development of public processes. The decision of the Ministry of Education and Science to introduce media literacy classes during the form teacher’s lesson in 11th grade and digital literacy classes is a positive step in this direction; however, critical thinking and active civic engagement skills are still not developed sufficiently well. At the same time half of young people and children today are users of digital technology and media content as early as pre-school age and before the age of 12, 73% of them have social medial profiles and have their mindset and values shaped there. This project aims at supporting the process of developing the necessary critical thinking skills among young people and encouraging them to become conscious citizens with rights and responsibilities in society. We will work online where young people spend their time. We aim to set up and promote a new youth video and podcast platform (peer-to-peer-based) to stimulate critical thinking skills among young people aged 18-30. We will select and extensively work with 10 young people from across Bulgaria who will be provided with training, mentorship and technical support to create materials to provoke critical thinking and active citizen engagement in their peers (including on topics such as environment protection, human rights, democratic principles, etc.) but also learn to be critical towards the information they use and check information authenticity, completeness and sources. The main target groups are 10 young people from across Bulgaria will be directly involved in the project activities and the platform users, i.e. young people aged 18-30 and active adults.
Summary of project results
The project aimed to support the process of building the necessary skills for critical thinking among young people and to promote their awareness as citizens with rights and responsibilities in society. A youth video and podcast platform was created (based on the peer-to-peer approach), provoking critical thinking skills among young people (18-30 years old). A team of 10 young people was built who, through training, mentoring and technical support, had the opportunity to create materials that provoke their peers to show critical thinking and active citizenship (on topics such as environmental protection, human rights, democratic principles, etc.), but also to learn to be critical towards information they consume, verify its veracity, completeness and sources.
With this project, the Forty-Two Foundation successfully redirected some of its activities in the digital environment, while gaining experience in creating video and audio content for new media; expanded its team of young volunteers who used the opportunity to upgrade their skills and become leaders of their peers; The foundation also positioned itself among the organizations that recognizably work to promote the civic participation of young people. The initiative has its own website - www.channel4podcast.com