U.S. Embassy announces open competition for Media Literacy grants

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The U.S. Embassy announces an open competition for assistance awards through this Notice of Funding Opportunity (NOFO) for one or a series of programs in media literacy. 

The objective of the project is to increase critical thinking towards mass media and social media among Moldovans. Critical thinking includes, among other skills, the ability to distinguish information from propaganda, to analyze media communication and to interact with social media in a mindful way.

The Public Affairs Section (PAS) invites non-profit/non-governmental organizations to submit proposals for projects to improve media literacy skills across the populations of Moldova. 

Proposals should cover all types of media tools and channels – social interaction and social media as well as mass media. The target group is the general population of all of Moldova and should include Romanian and Russian speakers. 

The Embassy invites applicants to identify and extend existing good practices or to test actions which do not duplicate activities undertaken by other entities. 

Applications that focus on helping citizens to identify and discount false information related to COVID – 19 related information, ongoing political activities and decisions, and combatting disinformation are encouraged.

 

DESCRIPTION OF THE ACTIVITIES TO BE FUNDED 

Proposals should have clearly defined objectives to reach specific goals within the field of media literacy. They should propose an adequate mixture of tools and activities to achieve those objectives. These could include:

  • Creation of multilingual on-line material and interactive tools to improve the capacities of citizens to acquire a critical understanding of the media and to interact with it;
  • Awareness-raising and efficient dissemination of the material created by the project or other similar material/activities that can be adapted to the same purpose, in particular through networks that can act as multipliers;
  • Efficient dissemination of best practices, for instance through workshops, on-line platforms and/or training programs; 
  • Campaigns aimed at helping citizens in all regions of Moldova to interact with media in a mindful way; 
  • Innovative activities that can develop citizens' ability to distinguish information from propaganda or otherwise develop capacity related to critical thinking towards the media; 
  • Activities with local communities or networks to tailor and make some of the above tools available.

The direct or indirect benefit of the project for the citizens will need to be demonstrated for all tools and activities.

Proposals should provide an assessment of its implementation risks and make suggestions about how to address them.

Proposals should also provide an assessment of and a plan for the sustainability of the action(s) after the end of the project.

 

"Media literacy" is an umbrella expression that includes all technical, cognitive, social, civic and creative capacities that allow a citizen to access the media, to have a critical understanding of the media and to interact with it. 

All these capacities allow a person to participate in the economic, social and cultural aspects of society as well as to play an active role in the democratic process. "Media" is to be understood in a broad way: including all kind of media (television, radio, press) provided through all kind of channels (traditional, internet, social media).

Media literacy is intrinsic to a healthy democracy

Democracy, by definition, requires the participation of a well-informed electorate. Citizens inform themselves through the media. Their relationship with the media needs to take place in a context of critical thinking. This furthermore requires certain knowledge of how the media works and how media messages are constructed. There is a tight connection between media literacy and democracy. Media literacy is a tool for citizens to acquire critical thinking and become active in a democratic society.

Media literacy is a necessary response to a changing and increasingly complex media landscape

The change in the media landscape is brought about both by the digital revolution and by a change of behavior and attitude on the part of citizens. The digital revolution means ubiquitous mobile devices, connectivity everywhere, all the time and to almost everything, converging content and more content produced in innovative audiovisual formats. The digital revolution also changed people’s attitudes: they are not mere passive recipients of media content, but also content creators and media sources, for example through their involvement in social media. Moreover, people increasingly receive news through social media, rather than through traditional channels.

What is shared by people on social media can also become a source for the news. This proliferation of sources brings a lot of new information, opportunities and potential innovation but also requires critical thinking and verification tools. While some of the matters related to this complex environment can be dealt with through regulation, this needs to be complemented with measures that empower the user to be critical of his sources of information and of the media content. This is precisely what media literacy means.

Media literacy is one of the building blocks used to tackle key societal issues

Media literacy is one of the instruments that can be used to combat hate speech online, to fight radicalization, and is a tool to allow people to spot and defend themselves from political propaganda.

 

The U.S. Embassy will consider awarding grants ranging from $25,000 to $75,000. Any requests outside of these limits will not be considered.

Eligibility is limited to organizations officially registered and licensed in the Republic of Moldova and not affiliated with elected or appointed government or political party officials or their family members, nor affiliated with individuals or groups designated by U.S. officials for being involved with significant corruption or their family members.  Organizations from outside the country may apply via a locally registered partner organization.

 

Deadline: 

March 19, 2021 18:00

 

More information and Standard Application Forms:

https://www.grants.gov/web/grants/view-opportunity.html?oppId=331355

 


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