In Bolivia, DW Akademie and its partners promote Media and Information Literacy and empower children, young people and local media professionals to participate in constructive public debates.
Bolivian society is divided, and this is also reflected in highly politicized discussions about the media. Disinformation and hate speech, however, weaken democracies by driving polarization and preventing objective debates. This has had dramatic consequences, especially for people in rural areas. Media professionals from local and community media are often unable to recognize false information and hate speech, and as a result usually spread it unintentionally. Still, for people particularly in rural areas, these media are often the most important information sources and are considered to be highly credible. Especially children and young people – many of whom will be voting for the first time in the upcoming presidential elections – lack Media and Information Literacy (MIL) which is needed to understand the dynamics of disinformation and hate speech as well as deal critically with information and make informed decisions.
Together with its local partners Centro de Producción Radiofónica(Center for Radio Production CEPRA) in Cochabamba, and Muy Wasoin Oruro, DW Akademie works to ensure that children, young people and local journalists can counter misinformation and hate speech and participate in constructive public debates.
Innovation workshops are part of the project, where participants design formats that support MIL and media participation for children and young people in rural and semi-urban areas. Teachers, parents and media professionals work together to develop concepts that promote MIL, while local partners produce learning materials, train trainers and publish a practical guide that strengthens media skills for local and community media.
The project also trains media professionals from local and community media to recognize disinformation and hate speech and take action to counter its spread. In hackathons, they work with civil society actors to develop tools and methods that verify information in Bolivia's cultural and political context and, in a pilot phase, are testing a hands-on fact-checking service for rural areas.
Funding: German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ)
Program Director: Benedikt Borchers
Locations: La Paz, Cochabamba
Focus: Social participation, media and journalism qualification, Media and Information Literacy