The Albanian Media Institute, with the support of the Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA), organized the international conference “Children and media literacy: towards new challenges.” The conference was organized in the framework of activities marking the 20th anniversary of establishment of the regulator.
At the start of the conference, AMA’s chair, Mr. Gentian Sala, stressed the importance of child protection and the ethical coverage of children in media to AMA, citing it as one of the main priorities of his work. AMA’s chair focused especially on the role of the public service broadcaster, who should serve as the model that makes the difference, as well as a point of reference in the overall media environment regarding topics of children coverage in the media.
The Minister of Education, Youth, and Sports, Ms. Besa Shahini, spoke of the importance media has currently in educating youth and public opinion. The Minister underlined that it is important to find the proper instruments to educate not just children, but all ages and groups on media functioning and content. Ms. Shahini expressed her openness to the experts’ opinion on the potential of implementing media literacy initiatives in Albanian schools.
The director of the Albanian Media Institute, Mr. Remzi Lani, in his speech emphasized the serious approach we have to assume in terms of media literacy. “It is time that media literacy becomes part of the education curricula, from the lowest to the highest levels. In this way we will no longer be blind consumers of what is served to us, but we will be equipped with the necessary critical thinking skills,” he said.
The representative of UNICEF in Albania, Mr. Roberto de Bernardi, stressed that the concept “media literacy” has changed through the years, mainly due to the ever-increasing influence of technology on media.
The conference proceeded with presentation and discussion in three panels, focusing on specific topics related to children’s rights and media ethics in the framework of audiovisual media. Many institutions and actors that focus on and address problems related to media and child protection participated in the conference.