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IJC is launching the online edition of the Fifth Power Media Hackathon and challenges teams to create applications that develop critical thinking

07 August 2020
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The Independent Journalism Center (IJC) launched on Friday, August 7, 2020, the sixth edition of the Fifth Power Media Hackathon with the theme Media Literacy: Analyze, Raise Awareness, Create. For three days, from August 7 to 9, 2020, the nine teams that joined the competition will test their knowledge and creativity to develop applications and tools that will contribute to the development of critical thinking of students. In the end, four teams will be named winners.
 
The launch event, broadcast live from MediaHub, was attended by representatives of the IJC, Internews in Moldova, members of the participating teams, journalists, and mentors connected online to the event.
 
In her greeting speech, Nadine Gogu, executive director of the IJC, said that the event is a premiere, being the first hackathon that the NGO organizes online. “I am sure that we will have a hackathon as successful as in previous years, because what matters is the result, not the format. The goal of this edition is to develop at least four useful tools for our school partners who teach Media Education.”
 
The director of the USAID Mission to Moldova, Scott Hocklander, pointed out that the phenomenon of false news has become an increasingly widespread tool used to manipulate public opinion. “USAID recognizes and supports media literacy efforts. Media education is a useful lifelong skill with which people can make informed decisions. Media hackathon participants have the opportunity to develop tools that contribute to mastering this skill.”
 
Corina Cepoi, director of Internews in Moldova, mentioned that the organization she represents is happy to support the Media Education optional course. “I very much hope that this hackathon will help us ensure the inclusion of all those who want to know more and want to do well in the field of media literacy.”
 
At this year’s edition of the hackathon, participants are encouraged to create tools that can be used by teachers during Media Education lessons, the optional course launched in 2017. At the same time, these tools will contribute to the development of critical thinking skills among students.
 
To complete their projects, participants will benefit from the experience of mentors from Ukraine, Svetlana Izbash and Tatiana Ivanova, but also from the expertise of national mentors – Diana Raileanu, Radio Free Europe journalist; Viorica Zaharia, Press Council president; Cristina Cernei, Media Education teacher; and Dan Iftodi, IT specialist.
 
The five experts prepared presentations on topics such as the topicality of media education, Web 2:0 tools in the process of teaching Media Education in schools, models for approaching media education, or how to “read” the news.
 
Subsequently, for two days the teams will develop their projects, being remotely assisted by mentors. At the end of the hackathon, on Sunday evening, the participants will present their products in demo version.
 
The jury will nominate four winning teams, which will receive grants of $ 4,250 each. They will have six months to complete the projects. The applications and tools created during the hackathon will be offered for use free of charge.
 
The sixth edition of the Fifth Power Media Hackathon is organized by the Independent Journalism Center within the project “Media in support of Democracy, Inclusion, and Accountability in Moldova (MEDIA-M),” funded by USAID and UK Aid and implemented by Internews in Moldova.