Improving religious leaders´ and dialogue practitioners´ media literacy

As part of it´s media programme, KAICIID Dialogue Centre is developing social media and communications trainings. The objective of the trainings is to provide religious leaders and dialogue practitioners with tools to navigate the media environment in the digital age. Pilot editions of the curricula are available online, and revised editions will be released later in 2015.

Media Wise: Empowering Responsible Religious Leadership in the Digital Age

The media landscape has changed dramatically over the past 25 years.  The news media, websites and content on social media play an increasingly important role in shaping perceptions toward other religions and cultures.  KAICIID is working to connect the news media with another group that has a tangible impact on peoples’ perceptions of “the Other”: religious leaders.  Religious leaders, like other members of society, are influenced by and through the media. While they may have expertise on their traditions they are not necessarily media experts or experts on other faiths.

It is therefore critical that religious leaders, who play a teaching and guiding role in their communities, are able to critically analyze information news media content, understand risks and opportunities associated with the Internet, and become responsible and informed consumers and transmitters of information and opinion. The curriculum, developed in cooperation with UNESCO, empowers religious leaders to navigate the news media and the Internet with confidence and more capably address misinformation or bias about their own or other religious communities and beliefs.

The pilot curriculum is available as PDF.

Speak Up: Social Media and Communications Training for Interreligious Dialogue Practitioners

Today many excellent dialogue initiatives and organizations are making an impact in each region. There are many religious leaders, including in conflict situations, who take pains to speak peace and extend solidarity to members of other religious communities. Unfortunately, because of the nature of the news cycle and the pressures under which journalists operate, these efforts are often “drowned out” by stories of violence or sensational stories of hate. On the other hand, Web 2.0 and the surge of social media platforms provide a way for every person to make their voice heard.

Dialogue practitioners have the opportunity to combat stereotypes, hate speech and incitement with messages of peace and reconciliation.  Social Media and Communications Training gives Interreligious Dialogue Practitioners the tools to tell their stories, create their own channels of information and engage the mainstream press. Additionally the new edition will feature include a module is being developed to focus on utilizing Social Media as a platform for Interreligious and Intercultural dialogue.

The pilot curriculum is available as PDF.