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Sep 28, 2022

The Importance of Media Literacy in the Digital Age

This afternoon at Anglican Cathedral College, students participated in a skit depicting the harmful effects of spreading fake news, libel and slander, as well as maligning other individuals in the media.  It was part of a media literacy session that was spearheaded by Peacework Belize and the United States Embassy.  News Five’s Isani Cayetano reports.


Isani Cayetano, Reporting

Have you ever wondered how much of the media you consume is factual?  With so much of our time taken up by different forms of media, we need to make sure that we are consuming it wisely.


Carol Babb

Dr. Carol Babb, Executive Director, Peacework Belize

“We are targeting high school students because we know that these students are on different social media platforms and many times when students see these messages on social media, they sometimes just read and they like it because it’s negative.  What we want to instill in them is that they must question things.  Stop just accepting, question things. Who wrote that message, why was that message written, what was their intention?  And so we are teaching them to be responsible consumers of information of media.”


The ability to access and analyze media messages, as well as create, reflect and take action, using the power of information and communication to make a difference in the world is known as media literacy.


David Anderson

David Anderson, Teacher, Anglican Cathedral College

“We all know that Belize is faced with this pervasive situation where the use of social media has become reckless and indiscriminate.  People are using these media outlets to commit cyber crimes, putting fake news out there, spreading misinformation, disinformation and mal information and, in so doing, it has become infodemic, as some person coined it.  What we want to do is to help young Belizeans, starting with students of A.C.C. to tackle this infodemic head-on using media literate tactics.”


The broadcasting of inaccurate, harmful information intended to cause injury to one’s reputation is unlawful.  Back in January, Cabinet gave its approval for the introduction of legislation that would repeal and replace the Libel and Defamation Act.  That piece of law was last revised in 2000.  Since then, other platforms, including social media, have been introduced that are now being used to spread false and malicious information.


Raheema Hafiya

Raheema Hafiya, Student, Anglican Cathedral College

“Dis da something fi yoh tek serious, dis da noh wahn joke. Dis could harm somebody physically, mentally and emotionally cause dis goh a long way.”


Isani Cayetano

“When you look at the idea of using information, perhaps as a tool to damage someone’s character or reputation, you realize how important information is and how you use it.  What are some of the lessons you’ve learned from today’s skit?”


Raheema Hafiya

“At least try look eena dehn thing before yoh publish it because di person, my friend weh mi di play dis, weh he seh, dat harm he reputation and people noh trust he after that, even though dehn seh da mi false news, that still wahn follow he round.”


Through Peacework Belize, Dr. Carol Babb, with support from the United States Embassy, was able to share with the students of A.C.C. the fundamentals of media literacy.


Kyle Mendez

Kyle Mendez, Student, Anglican Cathedral College

“I learn that watch weh yoh post pan di social media because when yoh delete it, ih noh really deleted because yoh have people weh wahn bad mind yoh, screenshot it and photoshop, watch weh yoh post and watch weh yoh talk pan social media.”


Isani Cayetano for News Five.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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