MediaWhat

National Network
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Address

Mesogeiou Avenue, Larnaka Beach House,
Flat 205
7041 Oroklini
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Telephone
+35799072235
E-Mail
photini@mediawhat.org
Organisation Type
Non-Governmental Organization
Year of Establishment
2019
Fields of Activity
  1. Democracy and community development
General Information

The structure of our team is horizontal as we are working together toward all goals. We are research oriented with five members of staff working on our projects. We have received grants from the US Embassy, the Youth Makerspace Larnaka and have applied to various Erasmus projects with partners across Europe. Other partners with whom we have collaborated are: UNESCO MIL Alliance, Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, EKOME - National Centre for Audiovisual Media and Communication, Critical Literacy Lab, Cypriot Enterprise Link, and Psaroloco Media Literacy Project. Our workshops and projects are designed with the understanding that engagement and critique of the media is empowering. Our main focus is media literacy and since 2019 we have led almost ten events related to the topics of misinformation, data literacy, algorithms, gamification, etc. Our MediaLearn site offers free educational resources to teachers and educators that source from our activities and projects.

Mission and Objectives

Media What is a non-profit organisation made up of a team of educators and researchers experienced in designing learning experiences that encourage critical thinking through media activities. Mission: Media What is committed to promoting media education through participatory media production activities that empower community voices and enhance media literacy and critical thinking. Vision: Media What aspires to be the leading media education hub in Cyprus, and to influence education policy-making through its media education practices, projects and research. Our workshops and projects are designed with the understanding that engagement and critique of the media is empowering. We believe that developing media literacy is essential to navigating a world that is rich in information and media messages and this is important for students and teachers. We are dedicated to supporting youth in developing the knowledge, skills and attitudes that can enable them to be creative in their use of media, while remaining conscious and critical citizens online and offline.

Main Projects / Activities

Our more recent project is JOUREDIS, on which we collaborate with the Cyprus University of Technology, and aims to support journalists in their efforts to resist misinformation through the use of digital journalism tools. Our workshop series, will develop the skills needed to engage with mobile journalism, wirting for social media, live blogging and fact-checking. Earlier this year we coordinated a speaker series called 'Mediatised Portraits of Women' and asked: What does it mean to be a woman in Cyprus in 2021? The project centred on the value of media literacy to address challenges of every woman’s empowerment and is part of the POWER project (Portraits Of Women's Empowered Representations), funded by the US Embassy Cyprus (https://www.mediawhat.org/en/projects/power). Additionally, in collaboration with Youth Makerspace Larnaka and Youth Board Cyprus, we offered three paid artist residencies on the theme of "Making Womanhood". We also just completed an other project called 'Use Your Head' (Με Τον Νου Σου!) that explores misinformation spread. For this project we build an interactive game in collaboration with the award-winning artist Yiota Demetriou. The project is funded by Arts Council England and uses Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCI) tech, enabling the player, wearing the BCI headset, to interact with our co-written story without the click of a button or a hand-held controller, but merely by concentrating on what they would like to do when asked about how they would like to advance the narrative. (https://www.mediawhat.org/en/projects/mtns).

How can you contribute to the Network in your country?

We are expert educational professionals, researchers and workshop facilitators. We believe that our skills and expertise in media literacy can add to the network's aspirations to build more inclusive, empathetic and resilient societies, to fight growing mistrust and polarisation. Media literacy is a fundamental set of competencies. You can’t function in today’s media-rich reality without having at least some basic knowledge and skills about the media and technology. But media literacy is a muscle that needs to be strengthened, especially when the boundaries of what we call media and information are constantly changing online. We believe that when young people learn to decode, critique and question media they can take ownership of their media consumption and can feel more confident to engage in media practices that amplify their voices. Media What aims to spark that journey into motion, by engaging youth in activities that challenge them to reflect on their media practices and to imagine themselves as storytellers, activists or historians producing media products within an increasingly complex digital media environment.

Why do you want to join the ALF Network?

We would like to offer insights and support to the network's efforts to build a culture based on dialogue and exchange and help create and popularise alternative narratives to fight extremist discourses and radicalisations. We will do that by collaborating and working with the network's partners to transform the region's relationship to media products and engaging in activities that promote critical thinking and active digital citizenship. Our strength is in developing activities and initiatives that can be integrated in different learning environments. Finally, we would like to create the spaces for community members to tell their stories through digital storytelling and inspire the next generation of critically engaged citizens while also influencing policy-making across the region.

Contact (1) Full Name
Photini Vrikki
Job Title
Research Lead
Head of the organisation
Christiana Varda
Contact (2) Full Name
Christiana Varda
Job Title (2)
CEO