Philippine NGO wins UNESCO award for media and information literacy

December 13, 2021 | 1:51 p.m.

MANILA, Philippines – UNESCO’s Media and Information Literacy Alliance has awarded the Manila-based Out of the Box Literacy Initiative first prize at the Global Media and Information Literacy Awards 2021 for its projects on media literacy and against disinformation.

According to a press release, the Global MIL Awards recognize educators, librarians, artists, activists, policy makers, NGOs and other individuals and groups who “incorporate MIL in innovative ways in their work and related activities.”

Operating since 2014, OOTB is the first Filipino organization to win the award since the Global MIL Awards were launched in 2015.

Recent projects include the #IWASFAKE Remote Learning Resources, which have been released to address the infodemic and move to online learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic. These modules can be accessed for free on their website.

“‘Iwas’ in #IWASFAKE stands for the four most important habits against disinformation: Ikalma ang sarili (pause and calm down); Wag basta maniniwala (be skeptical); Alamin ang source at konteksto ng impormasyon (check the source and context of the information) ; and, Salain bago i-share at sitahin ang nagkakalat ng mali (filter what you share and see disinformation), “OOTB said in the press release.

OOTB also created the # MIL4Democracy Handbook, which contains 18 lesson plans designed to teach young Filipinos their rights and responsibilities as digital citizens, the organization said.

The organization currently runs the Youth Leaders Incubator, a mentoring program for Filipino youth organizations, together with Mano Amiga Philippines and Meta (formerly Facebook).

The spread of misinformation and disinformation – which are seen as a factor in the upcoming 2022 election – has sparked fact-checking, media and information literacy initiatives to encourage critical thinking and a better appreciation of democratic institutions.

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