A problem that's not a priority
As much as they spend time online, young people often struggle to make sense of what they find there.
The problem is especially acute in Latin America, says Lina Torres, director of projects and strategy at Movilizatorio, a social research and public advocacy organisation based in Colombia. Media literacy rates are low across the region (a 2020 study found 70 per cent of Latin Americans were susceptible to misinformation). And a lack of focus at the policy level adds to the challenge. Much of the region, Torres says, is 'fighting monsters that include the very basics of attending school or reading and writing capacities.' In that context, media literacy is a low priority.
To help fill this gap, Movilizatorio created DigiMENTE ('digital mind'), a media literacy curriculum designed specifically for Latin American students for those aged 12 to 17. There are plenty of effective media literacy curricula, Torres says, but DigiMENTE is the first that 'has the context that makes sense for people in the region.'