ISLAMABAD-Keeping in view the spread of information from various sources including social media, speakers at a training workshop stressed the need for media literacy for all news consumers in order to make them able to access and analyse information.

Media literacy is very important for consumers as many of them have little experience in learning how to locate, evaluate, and critically analyse the information they are consuming, speakers said at a two-day workshop on Tools for Media Information Literacy (MIL) organised by Individualland Pakistan and Information for All (IFA) at the Pakistan Scientific and Technological Information Centre (PASTIC).

Prof. Dr. Muhammad Akram Sheikh, Director General (DG) PASTIC-IFA speaking on the occasion said that media literacy is important for all news consumers to make media consumers aware of their media environment and increase critical thinking about media’s construction of reality.

While briefing the participants about United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) MIL work in Pakistan, country representative Vibeke Jensen said that “UNESCO has been working with various local stakeholders to promote MIL in the country.

One of our most recent endeavours was focused on use of MIL for the prevention of violent extremism in Pakistan.”

She said that media literacy was major tool to excess, retrieve, understand evaluate as well as share information. By using these tools in a proper way we can participate and engage in societal activities, she said.

Gulmina Bilal Ahmad, Executive Director Individualland Pakistan was of the view that “media literacy is fast becoming a must have skill for every consumer of media, as it can help them in becoming smart social media users with the ability to identify fake content and develop and disseminate their own content.” In the workshop, trainers focused on the discussion on MIL in Pakistan. Moreover, tools to understand fake and doctored images, fact checking and social media monitoring were also discussed.