Communication and Education Research Group explains the main lines of action of the UNESCO- UNAOC MILID UNITWIN Chair in TVE


Working in a research oriented to the media contribute to social understanding and addressing social inclusion are two of the main lines of action of UNESCO- UNAOC MILID UNITWIN according to Jose Manuel Pérez Tornero, director of the Communication and Education Research Group.

The UAB professor was interviewed on 22 February by the program “The Adventure of Learning” issued by the TVE channel 2. At the time, explained what is the UNESCO- UNAOC MILID UNITWIN, which is the first international network of universities around Media Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue. Additionally, he addressed issues such as the power of the media and the need to promote media literacy among citizens.

Asked about the future role of the UAB as part of the initiative, Pérez Tornero said the UAB together with the Cayro University lead the project for two years. “Our task will be to coordinate the various activities, and then put in place to ensure performance in any way”. he said. The plan of activities of the Chair includes, for example, joint production of videos, including the Philippines, Barcelona and the U.S., said the professor, adding other activities: “It will create a European channel youth radio, where each one going to try to introduce his vision. We will also promote a festival that is done in New York in June, a festival of video production involving children, creating or performing in front of them, promoting cultural understanding. We will make a vast study on how to promote media education and promotes intercultural dialogue in the continents of the world. Then let some training activities in Africa, creating a virtual school of Media Literacy”, he said.

The Chair is made up of eight universities around the world: University of Barcelona (Spain), Cairo University (Egypt), University of the West Indies (Jamaica), University of São Paulo (Brazil), Temple University (United States), Tsinghua University (China), Queensland University of Technology (Australia) and University Sidi Mohamed Ben Abdellah (Morocco).

Regarding the different realities faced by universities of the Chair, Pérez Tornero said that diversity enriches the initiative. “We have a very broad concept of media literacy and we believe that transfer experience and knowledge from one place to another is necessary. Never mind that in Philadelphia working with Africa, because they enrich each other. We think, and so we are optimistic, that exchanging views forward, first, understand and second to transfer skills”.

The power of the media
Another issue discussed during the interview is the power that may have some media, especially in times of conflict. Pérez Tornero said that “fear is a component (which can generate the media), another is addiction. Today we can see that young people somehow feel a special affection for the media. It is very difficult to disconnect. The confluence of  both. The feeling you have, for example, in the current crises that everything is scary, difficult, precarious, uncertain, insecure, a tension which sometimes leads to aggression. Addiction also because it's like a kind of attempt to protect ourselves, to create a bubble that protects us falsely of reality”, he said adding that in any case it is possible to change this. “That's the positive. You can go out, break the bubble. It is possible that the media work in search of peace and cultural understanding and media may work in the service of people and what we want in this chair”.

One alternative to break the “bubble” created by some media is to promote media literacy, which Pérez Tornero explained by a metaphor. “It's like talking to spoken language, it speaks to the media. Then one can insult and attack with the language orally. Speaking poorly with the word or have a rich understanding Custom Language, comprising the other, which generates respect and cooperation. Our idea and our job is to change the controversial aspects of language more cooperative aspects”, he said.

See the full interview below (the interview continues at minute 25:55 of the video below):