YouThink: Media Literacy in North Macedonia

YouThink: Media Literacy in North Macedonia

Overview

YouThink is a five-year program that helps Macedonian youth navigate and shape an information ecosystem that informs and engages rather than divides and polarizes.

Building on IREX's Learn to Discern approach to media and information literacy skill-building, YouThink works with Macedonian partners to catalyze change throughout the school system at the primary, secondary, and university levels. The program provides opportunities to learn, grow, and contribute to national efforts through nonformal learning, Youth Clubs, online courses, and tailored training for young media professionals. The program's local partners are the Macedonian Institute for Media, the Institute of Communication Studies, and the Youth Educational Forum.

YouThink’s diverse activity tracks work together, drawing on young Macedonians for input and leadership, to foster society-wide awareness of media literacy through youth-led campaigns. The tracks also support youth as they demand and produce high-quality, appealing news content that meets their needs and interests.

Quick Facts

  • YouThink combines IREX’s proven Learn to Discern media literacy approach and activities to tailor content and methodologies for diverse audiences throughout North Macedonia.
  • YouThink brings together a diverse consortium of Macedonian partners. The program will launch a youth steering team, which will play a central role across all activities.
  • YouThink works closely with North Macedonia’s Ministry of Education and Sciences and its Bureau for Development of Education to identify opportunities to integrate critical information engagement skills and awareness into existing coursework and teacher training programs across grade levels.

Goals

  • Equip young Macedonians with the critical thinking and information engagement skills and awareness that they need to build resilience to mis- and disinformation, hate speech, conspiracy theories, and other forms of manipulation. 
  • Expand the number and type of age-appropriate opportunities for young people to apply media literacy skills in ways that are meaningful to them.
  • Contribute to increasing the quality and relevance of news and information developed by and for youth.

Project Activities

  • Curriculum adaptation and research: YouThink launched an intensive resource review and adaptation process to develop a tailored training and resource development approach, informed by in-depth research into target audiences.
  • Integrating critical information engagement into schools: YouThink works with ministry partners to integrate media literacy and critical thinking skills into curricula and teacher resources. YouThink will work with primary, secondary, and higher education institutions, including pre- and in-service teacher training institutions. 
  • Nonformal education: YouThink works with a national network of youth clubs and other networks to promote training, online courses, and blended learning opportunities, including competitions, master classes, and professional networking.
  • Media content developed by and for youth: YouThink will amplify youth voices through opportunities to produce high-quality, appealing media content and reach audiences through digital short film festivals and competitions. Participants will receive training on media literacy, data literacy, and more to strengthen young journalists and media professionals.
  • Collaboration, learning, and adapting: YouThink’s partners employ a rigorous approach to collaboration, learning, and adapting. YouThink incorporates learning across all activities to build awareness of what works and to strengthen partners’ ability to achieve and sustain results.  

Partners

YouThink is implemented by IREX together with the Macedonian Institute for Media, the Institute of Communication Studies, and the Youth Educational Forum. YouThink activities are made possible by the support of the American people through the United States Agency for International Development.
 

Logos for USAID, Institute of Communication Studies, Macedonian Institute for Media, and Youth Educational Forum.

People

Contact

Mihajlo Lahtov, project director: mlahtov@irex.org
Dejan Dokuzovski, deputy project director: ddokuzovski@irex.org