Posted on

Empowering Elders: A Media Literacy Journey from V4 to the Balkans

Countering Disinformation among Vulnerable Populations

Project Summary: 

The “Empowering Elders: Media Literacy Journey from V4 to the Balkans” project, led by Transitions in collaboration with V4 region experts, is a two-year initiative designed to enhance media literacy among senior citizens in Bosnia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro. Recognizing that this demographic is often overlooked in media education activities and more vulnerable to disinformation and propaganda, the project aims to bolster their resilience by equipping them with critical media literacy skills. In addition to empowering seniors, this initiative aims to build the capacity of local partners to deliver effective media literacy interventions, helping to create an environment that values and promotes quality journalism.

The project will employ proven methodologies drawn from successful media literacy models in the V4 region, utilizing a range of activities such as interactive workshops, training programs, and resource development. By fostering a community of skilled media literacy trainers, enhancing digital confidence among seniors, and facilitating the sharing of best practices across the region, the initiative is poised to establish sustainable structures and networks for media education. The ultimate objective is to cultivate a resilient, well-informed media landscape that fosters democratic growth and reduces the vulnerability of senior citizens to misinformation and societal polarization.

Project Activities: 

In 2024-26, Transitions Online and its partners in Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Bulgaria will utilize NED support to:

• Conduct a baseline study in each targeted country to tailor the methodology to local contexts.

• Convene 36 interactive sessions (12 per country) for at least 540 seniors to expose them to the nature of disinformation and techniques for confident digital navigation. Each event will include a combination of workshops, discussions and hands-on exercises. They will cover topics such as: introduction to media literacy, basics of fact-checking, digital security, disinformation techniques and propaganda, hate speech, understanding journalism among others.

• Conduct one full day Training of Trainers event in each participating country, engaging eight participants each in Bulgaria and Bosnia and Herzegovina and six in Montenegro. During the course, participants will receive intensive training and mentoring, which will enable them to conduct senior media education activities on their own.

• Upgrade existing educational resources and create new ones based on needs assessments conducted in each country, to facilitate workshops and events. These resources will be designed in senior-friendly formats and comprise interactive guides, multimedia content, engaging activities and real-world examples. At least three instruction materials will be developed and distributed in each country.

• Strengthen the community of media literacy practitioners, through a kick-off event in Sarajevo and a Barcamp event towards the end of the second year. This will enable the formation of a vibrant community of media literacy practitioners in each country and foster continuous exchange of knowledge and best practices among practitioners.

Project Partners: 

Media Literacy Coalition (Bulgaria):

Media and Civil Society Development Foundation “Mediacentar” (Bosnia) :

Montenegro Media Institute (MMI):