Online media literacy forum empowers young people with digital literacy
According to Oung Chanthol, Executive Director of Women’s Media Center of Cambodia (WMC).
Chanthol made the remarks at the MIL-KH conference organized by WMC, DW Akademie and the Cambodian Center for Independent Media (CCIM), which was held in Phnom Penh on October 25.
“Once we train them, they will write articles for their communities and teach other young people so that it has a lot of impact. It would be nice if we could have a lot of that training here, but it’s still at a low level in Cambodia,” she said.
Chanthol said young people play an important role in society because only they can change society in the long run.
She said young people are now very fond of using social media and watching digital media. The creation of MIL-KH is therefore very important to help them to think critically, to become familiar with the media and to be able to differentiate correctly between types of information.
Chhorn Sokunthea, Director of Media Development Department at CCIM, said the MIL-KH conference was an opportunity for journalists, bloggers, influencers, media organizations, governments and NGOs, the Cambodian tech community, digital start-ups and other members of civil society to come together to learn more about these issues and their impact on the Kingdom.
Sokunthea said social media usage has steadily increased, mostly among 15-30 year olds. This age group is also less aware of how to differentiate between truthful and false information shared on social media, with some of it falling victim to misinformation.
“I want to emphasize that social media is a two-way street. Thus, MIL-KH plays an important role in helping train and guide young people who need to better understand the pros and cons of social media,” she said.
Kyle James, DW Akademie project manager, said the first MIL-KH conference in Cambodia brought together around 50 participants who discussed how to understand the types of information they encounter online.
He said the MIL-KH was an informational forum to explore various MIL initiatives in Cambodia and a forum to discuss MIL developments, training activities and experiences.
He said Cambodia has experienced rapid digital development in recent years due to the increasing spread of smartphones and cheap Wifi, so more and more people have access to the internet, especially young Cambodians. who turn to social media platforms like Facebook to stay informed and exchange ideas.
However, many still lack the media skills to seek out specific content online, reflect on it, and judge its quality.
“Only when people know how to find relevant, high-quality information online and how to protect their privacy can they use digital communication platforms without putting themselves or others at risk,” did he declare.