Media and Information Literacy

Wednesday 3rd July, 16.10

Theatre A

Improving audience resilience to disinformation through media and information literacy

An overview of UK Government’s approach to tackling disinformation, with a focus on efforts to build audience resilience through giving users the tools they need to identify false or misleading information online, and the knowledge of how to take action if they are suspicious of information.

Nicola Aitken, Head of Counter Online Manipulation, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

Nicola Aitken is the Head of Counter Online Manipulation in the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). She is leading the UK Government’s policy work to counter attempts to manipulate audiences online, including through disinformation. Prior to this, Nicola worked in the DCMS International team, developing the UK’s international approach to digital issues including the UK’s future relationship with the EU. Nicola also has experience in broadcasting and media policy and working with Ofcom. Nicola has a Master of Arts from Edinburgh University in History and German language.

Promoting digital literacy and digital well-being for children and young people

The Internet and social media today provide huge opportunities: access to communities and networks, online information and learning, business and entertainment. However online connected technologies can also present challenges for children and young people and other vulnerable groups who may not have the critical digital literacies and life skills to recognise risk, or the resilience to manage online stresses and challenges.

This presentation will highlight some of the themes to address when developing the digital literacies and digital well-being of children and young people, and those who work with or support them.

Dr Sangeet Bhullar, Director, WISE KIDS

Sangeet is the founder of WISE KIDS in the UK where, in the last 17 years she has developed and delivered training programmes and research promoting children and young people’s digital literacy, digital citizenship, online safety and well-being. Sangeet has worked with thousands of young people, parents, educators and other professionals addressing these themes, in the UK, Singapore and Malaysia. She is passionate about young people’s own voices, rights and agency in creating solutions related to risk, harm, skills, opportunity and well-being online. She sits on a number of Welsh Government and other committees. She tweets as @sangeet.

Ireland’s Be Media Smart campaign and the role of libraries

This paper presents Ireland’s public awareness campaign – ‘Be Media Smart’- which was launched in March 2019 to encourage people of all ages to stop, think, and check that information they see, read or hear across any media platform is reliable. Be Media Smart is an initiative of Media Literacy Ireland (MLI), an independent group facilitated by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) to enhance Irish people’s understanding of, and engagement with, media.  Group members include large media and social media companies, Government bodies, libraries, academia and voluntary sector organisations.

The paper will provide an overview of this national campaign, outline how the Library Association of Ireland (LAI) became a member of Media Literacy Ireland and provided support to this unique initiative through the various library sectors in Ireland.

Some of the key observations and findings of the Be Media Smart campaign will be presented including the value of the cross-sector collaborative approach. Challenges, lessons learned and future development plans will also be outlined.

Philip Russell, Deputy Librarian, Technological University of Dublin

Philip has over 20 years’ experience working in the library and information sector and previously held professional posts at Accenture, Trinity College Dublin and the Central Bank of Ireland. Philip’s primary research interests include information and media literacy, librarians’ role as teachers and technology enhanced learning.

Philip is Chair of the Library Association of Ireland’s Literacies Committee and is a member of Media Literacy Ireland and the National Forum for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education. He has worked on numerous research projects, published widely on the subject of information literacy and associated technologies and is a regular contributor to national and international conferences and seminars. Philip holds a BA (Hons) in Arts from University College Dublin (UCD) and an MSc. in Information and Library Studies from the Robert Gordon University (Aberdeen).


Chair: Lisa Jeskins, Deputy Chair, CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG)

Lisa is Deputy Chair of ILG and was involved with the LILAC Conference for nine years. She has worked in libraries for 15 years and is now self-employed as a coach, trainer and consultant who loves creating and delivering interactive, memorable learning experiences. Passionate about helping people to reach their potential, she is a CILIP Mentor and Fellow.