Associate Professor in Communication Is Keynote Speaker at Fulbright Conference in Romania
Yonty Friesem, associate professor in the Communication Department, was one of the keynote speakers at the International Conference and Training on Digital and Media Education, held at the largest University in Romania, Babeș-Bolyai University in Cluj-Napoca. The Romanian-U.S. Fulbright Commission, with the support of the U.S. Embassy in Romania, sponsored the conference, which took place October 26 and 27.
The conference promoted the importance of digital and media education, and highlighted media education initiatives and quality journalism in the digital era.
The Romanian Minister of Education and the U.S. Ambassador to Romania attended the event and talked about the importance of having a media literacy organization in Romania similar to the Illinois Media Literacy Coalition that Friesem co-founded in 2021. The coalition helped Illinois become the first state to mandate media literacy for every high school.
With 150 participants at the event, Friesem presented how Columbia College Chicago students learn to identify misinformation and research the business model of spreading conspiracy theories. As part of Columbia's new online master of arts degree Media for Social Impact, students learn to make media and analyze case studies of how it can bring social change. The graduate students work with local communities to identify their information needs and build strategies to address issues of news deserts, misinformation, and building civic engagement.
Watch a video of Yonty Friesem's talk at the International Conference and Training on Digital and Media Education.