Media Literacy in Bulgaria
The national conference “Media Literacy in Bulgaria. What We Learned from the Crisis”, organized by the Media Literacy Coalition and the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, took place on October 29, 2020, in Sofia.
Ministry of Education and Science, Ministry of Culture, Active Citizens Fund, American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria (AmCham Bulgaria), German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce (AHK Bulgarien), Bulgarian Association of Software Companies (BASSCOM), Branch Association of Bulgarian Telecommunications Operators (BABTO) and the Bulgarian Public Relations Association (BDVO) supported the event, with most of the organizations and the two ministries joining the forum with their representatives.
The event was held as part of the Global Media and Information Literacy Week and is the only one that puts Bulgaria on the map of the worldwide initiative. It was also in support of and supported by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom’ Freedom Fights Fake campaign.
The conference was held live in Sofia Event Center, but without an audience due to the restrictions imposed by the Order of the Minister of Health for holding congress-conference events. The forum was streamed live on the Facebook page of the Media Literacy Coalition and widely covered in the country’s media.
Kristina Hristova, the Chair of the Media Literacy Coalition, and Martin Kotee, Regional Director of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom for Eastern and South-Eastern Europe, opened the conference with key speeches on the importance of media literacy and the significance of the conference as the first forum of its kind where all stakeholders can exchange ideas, good practices and identify areas in which they can work together for the media literacy development of the Bulgarian citizens of all ages.
Prevented from physically attending the event at the Sofia Event Center H.E. Hero Mustafa, U.S. Ambassador took part and delivered an influential and important speech via Zoom while being quarantined in the Embassy in Sofia. See her entire address on this link.
Panel Overview: “The Business Point of View”
Dilyana Stoyanova from AHK Bulgarien / Unicredit Bulbank
“[…] Аs part of the media literacy, companies accept the following components – transparency of communication, communication of real facts, effective feedback and building trust in audiences. […]”
“[…] When financing initiatives in the field of partnerships, it is important for the brand and for the company to identify itself with these projects, which makes it even more important who carries out the initiatives – the organization must be transparent, without corruption.”
Daniel Kiryakov from AmCham Bulgaria
“Contrary to previous statements, I believe that if a media literacy study has economic measures of what damage it imposes through false news and misinformation or interpretations, it would be useful and companies would pay attention to it.“
Daniel also answered a question regarding how to build and develop a brand. He said that we are in an environment where we can not ignore the facts and we must pay attention to them without hesitation, at the same time we must step out of our comfort zone and include in our priorities similar initiatives.
“Thanks to that partnership the topic of media literacy has been noticed by many people. I turned to our PR working group in AmCham with the question – what did we learn from the crisis regarding media literacy. There were two directions in the opinions, the media on the one hand- who owns them, what motivates them to publish certain information, and on the other hand – our behavior as consumers – parents and children and how we influence sharing fake news.”
Prior the conference members of the Communication and CSR Working Group were involved in ad-hoc focus-group by asking to answer 3 questions regarding Media Literacy and the change that they had to manage or adapt due to COVID-19.
Date(s) - 29/10/2020
9:00 am - 12:15 pm
Sofia Event Center
Media Literacy Coalition & Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom in partnership with the German-Bulgarian Chamber of Industry and Commerce, American Chamber of Commerce in Bulgaria, Bulgarian Association of Software Companies, Bulgarian Public Relations Association & Branch Association of Bulgarian Telecommunication Operators are pleased to invite you to Media Literacy in Bulgaria National Conference.
The conference will provide opportunities for cooperation between business, civil society, institutions and international organizations working on the topic.
Media Literacy Coalition put on the agenda the state of media literacy in Bulgaria and together we outline a strategy for its development, bringing together all key participants in the process.