BISS2017 taught students how to be cautious media users and creators

Baltic International Summer School (BISS) in Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences (ViA) has ended successfully.  After finishing the eight day course “Media literacy and democracy”, 16 students from Latvia and abroad received their certificates.  To complete this course, students had to create a group project in a video format.

BISS participant Islam Bayramov concluded that for him, this summer school experience was useful because it allowed to view media from a different angle: “It was a great experience because we looked at media from inside – not as listeners and readers, but more as writers and editors. We learned some tricks which can be used by creators of media, but also ways how to be protected from being manipulated by them. We learned how to create our own content, how to use those tricks to influence people and their behavior”.

During the summer school, BISS students learned about media literacy, propaganda, fake news, the importance of fact checking, disinformation, about the ways manipulative content is created and other topics that are of importance now. Students were coached through their practical work by two journalists with experience in investigative journalism – Elga Sile and Lote Larmane, who could offer tips on fact checking and creating multimedia content. Lote said that students learned how to use video equipment editing software, write scenarios, film video material, they learned teamwork by trying to execute and idea fast.

Students were introduced to all the topics by experienced lecturers from ViA and Riga Stradins University, accompanied by other well established professionals of media and communications field.

BISS is a traditional summer education program which takes place in the Vidzeme University of Applied Sciences every year since 1999. Over years, there have been over 600 participants from 65 countries who have taken part in this program. For a large part of participants this experience has raised interest in Latvia and the Baltic countries.