Paris, October, 25th, 2017 (UNESCO/SIGNIS). With the start of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week 2017, promoted by UNESCO; SIGNIS, invites Catholic communicators of the world to echo the activities of this global day whose theme is: Re-imagining Ways of Learning and Information Environments

As expressed by UNESCO, “the annual Global MIL Week activities and the feature conference are important opportunities for stakeholders globally to celebrate the progress achieved towards the process of "MIL for all". Global MIL Week also enables connections and sharing of creative projects, the latest research, new ideas, and information across countries and stakeholders involved in MIL, and in print, screen-based and digital media.”

The feature conference of Global MIL Week 2017 is the Seventh Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Conference. It will be held in Jamaica under the same theme as the Global MIL Week 2017 from 24-27 October 2017, at the Jamaica Conference Centre in Kingston. Special emphasis was placed on the youth, at the Global MIL Week Youth Agenda Forum, pre-conference, which took place on October 24, 2017, at The University of the West Indies, Mona Campus, Jamaica.

Young people’s voices will resonate loudly in the global commemoration of MIL Week as well as the feature event. Youth will be engaged not just as target groups for MIL training but also as actors and as part of the solution to achieve media and information literate societies.

The MIL Week Youth Agenda is an extension of the UNESCO Global Youth Forum in Paris and will include thematic panels and hands-on workshops by various young people and youth organizations and leaders. Workshops will be innovative and creative, incorporating music, memes, poetry etc. The GAPMIL Youth Committee will lead certain actions including activities on social media via MIL CLICKS.

UNESCO also proposes ten ways to celebrate the Global MIL Week: Organize a MIL Day; Mainstream MIL topic at universities; Use social media to raise awareness about MIL in civil society; Send a letter; Give a voice to the youth; Join the Global Alliance for Media and Information Literacy (GAPMIL); Create new partnerships, locally or regionally, to promote MIL in society; Promote UNESCO’s publications and actions; Promote or enroll in the media and information literacy online course or Participate in global online debates.

Media Education has been an important cornerstone for SIGNIS since the early eighties, both as a formal and non-formal education in almost every corner of the globe.

Since 2014, the newly formed “Media Education Desk” refocused its attention to develop and empower young communicators around the world. In order to concretely reach its goal, SIGNIS developed an intensive emersion & exposure communication program for young communicators: the COMMLAB (Communication Laboratory). Since then, participants from Asia, Africa and North America have graduated from COMMLAB and in 2018 Latin America will join the LAB!

Also in mid 2017, SIGNIS introduced a global video contest (#IseeHope), to challenge its members, especially young communicators to share their stories of Hope. Along with that, communication training for the support of community media continues to be the priority for SIGNIS especially in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Pacific.

Likewise, the theme of media literacy and the fight against misinformation and fake news will be the main topic of our next issue of our printed publication SIGNIS Media, in line with the theme proposed by Pope Francisco for the World Day of Social Communications 2018.