The Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia and the Macedonian Institute for Media are organising the regional EU-Western Balkans Media Literacy Conference “BUILDING RESILIENCE TO DISINFORMATION”.

The conference will address some of the most burning challenges of the modern public communication, such as combating and resilience to disinformation, the influence of social networks and disinformation in redefining news reporting and quality of journalism, and the importance of media literacy for citizens in the new media environment.

The first panel of the conference “Resilience to Disinformation: Common challenge for institutions, media and citizens” will showcase some of the challenges North Macedonia is facing in the area of disinformation, compare them to the experiences of other countries in the region and the EU, like Albania and Latvia, and explore the need for a holistic approach that should be taken by various actors in the society in addressing the issue of disinformation. It will also touch upon the legal perspective of MIL through discussing adaptation of the local legislations to the European legal framework relevant for advancing the media literacy.

In the second panel “Reporting 2.0: Have social networks and disinformation redefined the reporting?” the ongoing digital transformation of journalism will be in the focus of the speakers. Journalists, fact-checkers and media experts from the Western Balkans region will discuss the challenges that the growing social media news consumption has imposed on the newsrooms and the problems they face when encountering disinformation. One of the questions we will ask is how to remain relevant, influential and trustworthy source in a constantly changing media environment.

The third panel “Digital Citizens: Navigating online in resilient manner” will focus on citizens’ skills, knowledge and behaviour as consumers and producers of media content. The panel will focus on the importance of media and information literacy as a condition for critical thinking, informed decision-making and for functional democracy. It will also unpack some of the most recent disinformation campaigns in the region and their impact to the public opinion. Case studies, best practices, and recommendations for online resilience will be integral elements of this panel.

Leading stakeholders from the European Union and the Western Balkan, such as representatives from state institutions, media, civil society and academia will participate in this high profile event.

This is a second conference of this scope supported by the European Union. The conference in Skopje is building upon the results of the first EU-Western Balkan MIL Conference organised in 2020 in Sarajevo and Banja Luka and is a significant addition to numerous EU funded initiatives implemented across the region on this topic. It will result with recommendations aimed to encourage effective actions against disinformation and further development of the media literacy not only in the Western Balkans but across Europe too.

The conference in Skopje will be inaugurated by H.E. Stevo Pendarovski, President of the Republic of North Macedonia, H.E. Josep Borrell, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission (via video link) and H.E. Ambassador David Geer, Head of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia.