Press ReleaseU.S.-Funded Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative Hosts ASEAN Regional Workshop on Media Literacy

Embassy Seal

March 21, 2019 

The four-day event builds the ASEAN ecosystem to combat disinformation in all 10 ASEAN member states and Timor Leste.

YANGON – Fifty young people between the ages of 22-33 representing Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Timor Leste, and Vietnam are participating together with U.S. and ASEAN experts in a four-day workshop to learn how to build resilience to disinformation in their communities, during the 2019 Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) Regional Workshop on Media Literacy at American Center Yangon from March 18-21, 2019. These young people share a passion for using social media to improve their communities. They are honing their skills with peers and mentors and have deepened their networks during the four-day event.

“The United States is proud to support young leaders from across Southeast Asia. I encourage you all to remain connected after this workshop and continue to work together in addressing media literacy concerns within your countries. Information brings you choices and those choices bring power. Remember –you’re never too young to lead,” Deputy Chief of Mission George Sibley said in his remarks to participants on March 21. Supported by the U.S. Department of State and organized by Volunteers in Asia (VIA), this is the second YSEALI regional workshop hosted by the U.S. Embassy in Myanmar.

Emerging leaders from ASEAN and Timor Leste at the YSEALI Media Literacy Workshop are learning about media literacy challenges throughout the region, exploring how to educate the public about disinformation, and developing skills to be critical thinkers, effective communicators and active citizens in today’s world. Participants are collaborating with peers and mentors to create proposals to address media literacy issues in their countries and compete for small grants to implement them once they return home.

Low media literacy is a global problem that underlies many other current social issues, including the spread of harmful disinformation and increased conflict between communities. Increasing understanding of media literacy and developing critical thinking skills to identify bias and disinformation leads to better informed citizens who are more prepared to address these issues in their communities.

Mentors and experts from the United States, Indonesia, United Kingdom, and Myanmar are working with workshop participants. All mentors and experts foster efforts to address disinformation and to support media literacy education.

The four-day YSEALI Regional Workshop on Media Literacy is building resilience to disinformation in ASEAN and Timor Leste by developing the next generation of leaders with ties to the United States and throughout the region.

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[Burmese Translation]