#ThinkFirst campaign launched to champion media and information literacy in the Philippines

November 13, 2019
Google - Think First
Championing media and information literacy. Google Philippines launched its #ThinkFirst campaign under efforts to help curb misinformation and promote media literacy in the country. They also announced a grant given by Google News Initiative and Google.org to Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) to support this cause. Leading the launch were Google Philippines Head of Government Affairs and Public Policy Yves Gonzalez (fifth from left) and AIJC President Ramon Tuazon (fourth from left). Photo shows them with partners (L-R) National Council for Children’s Television Supervising Administrative Officer Daisy Atienza, ABS-CBN Head of News Public Service Rowena Paraan, Philippine Association for Media and Information Literacy President Dr. Jose Reuben Alagaran II, GMA Network Vice President for Professional Development Howie Severino, content creator Team Lyqa, FEU Manila Program Head of the Department of Communication Anansa Dijan, joined together by hosts Martin Javier (far left) and Joyce Pring (far right).

MANILA, PHILIPPINES - In line with the 8th Global Media and Information Literacy Week from October 24 to 31 led by UNESCO, Google and partners launched the #ThinkFirst campaign to bring awareness on, and unite diverse stakeholders to promote media and information literacy in the country.

Google also announced a grant to the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication (AIJC) as part of Google News Initiative's objective to help curb misinformation in global and local news.

“Media and information literacy is a key priority for Google. Together with partners from the public, NGO,  and private sectors, we hope to play an active and lead role in helping Filipinos build critical thinking skills and knowledge needed to identify unverified news and misinformation,” said Yves Gonzalez, Head of Government and Public Affairs, Google Philippines.

The campaign kicked off with a forum held at the Far Eastern University in Manila, gathering media, educators, student journalists, and key opinion leaders.

AIJC will be spearheading a program to educate teachers on what news literacy means in the digital age.

AIJC plans to train around 300 senior high school teachers in public and private schools nationwide to  prepare them in teaching 9,000 students to recognize misinformation and disinformation through news literacy class sessions by December 2019. Educational videos will be made available on YouTube to be used by teachers as resource materials.

“We look forward to working with Google and other partners in helping fight misinformation and disinformation in the country,” said Ramon Tuazon, President of the Asian Institute of Journalism and Communication. “We need to rekindle interest in the news and help citizens, especially the youth, rediscover its importance. Teachers play a central role in helping their students become discerning in 'reading' news stories across different media platforms."

The program is designed to have students know the relevance of news literacy in their day-to-day lives and equip them with the knowledge to verify news and other information they access online. AIJC also wants young students to actively engage in challenging misinformation and disinformation on social media and be champions in building a better internet space for everyone.

In addition, the campaign aims to have the Department of Education include news literacy as part of the Media and Information Literacy core course across the country.

The grant is part of a 10M USD global Google News Initiative media literacy campaign funded by Google.org. Google aims to continue partnering with various organizations around the world to further spread the importance of media literacy.