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Media literacy lesson by the project “Checkай News”

March 25, 2019

On March 25, the National University of Ostroh Academy hosted an event with the participation of the project “Checkай News”.

The organizer of the event, student of the Faculty of International Economics and Management of the National Economic University named after Vadym Hetman, project leader Alina Halai explained:

«The information and advocacy campaign "Checkай News" is based on the conducted experiment within the framework of the project "Youth4change camp" in Dnipro. It was created to distribute incomplete information that did not contain any source and included grammatical and punctuation errors in order to inspire belief in its untrustworthiness. The purpose of the experiment was to determine the number of participants who will act, check, refute the news, which will in turn allow you to check the level of critical perception of information. One hundred young and active people from Ukraine who are involved in volunteering and community work took part in the experiment. The results of the experiment confirmed the assumption. 52% of young people believed in fake news and confirmed this fact with their own signature. The experiment proved the hypothesis that a large number of people trust any information, and that indicates a low level of critical thinking. Therefore, this became an impetus for a project aimed at developing of tools for testing information and developing critical thinking skills. With the help of the campaign, we want people to begin take responsibility not only for food they eat, but also for information they trust. Indeed, the emotional state depends on the perception of information, too. Fake news and trust in it can cause fear, anger, pain, tears, aggression and any other reaction that can affect all spheres of human life. The project is implemented at the national level simultaneously in five Ukrainian cities: Mariupol, Toretsk, Kiev, Kamianets-Podilskyi and Ostroh. The campaign covers all parts of Ukraine that can attract more attention to it. The event was held within the youth information campaign contest YouthImpact from the National Youth Council of Ukraine, implemented in partnership with UNICEF Ukraine with the financial support of the European Union within the framework of the project "Development of Sustainable Models of Youth Participation", which is part of the program " Strengthening viability and increasing the social activity of adolescents and young people in eastern Ukraine". The content of the material is solely the responsibility of "Checkай News" and does not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union, UNICEF and the National Youth Council of Ukraine.»

During the meeting, students had the opportunity to see if they were able to distinguish fake news from the true ones, get specific examples of the most popular fake news, create news by themselves, learn about the main ways to avoid information fraud.

The initiator of the event and head of the youth section of the Scientific Society for the History of Diplomacy and International Relations, the student of the faculty of international relations of the NUOA Nadiia Symonenko commented on the idea of the event:

«Ostroh became one of the five Ukrainian cities in which the “Checkай News” team arrived. In my opinion, it is necessary to held such events at universities, especially in the context of future election. This year a large number of students will vote for the first time, and they simply need to learn how to distinguish fake news from the real ones. This is called information hygiene, and this is important.»