The 2018 edition of the European Youth Media Days will be hosted in the premises of the European Parliament in Brussels. The EYMD media productions will mirror the visions of 120 young journalists. hosted by professionally trained young facilitators, European Parliament tutors and other team members, they will create comprehensive and innovative media outcomes. The EYMD want to cross the borders between art and journalism, between traditional editorial formats and new network approaches, utilising new ways of expression.
Beginning with the preparation of the European Youth Media Days, the European Parliament Liaison Offices together with the regional teams of the European Youth Press shall spread the word in traditional media and with a special focus on new interactive media like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, and Facebook. The channels of the European Parliament could be supplemented with media and multimedia (videos, photography, reportages) of young journalists at the European Youth Media Days.
This year European Parliament’s collaboration with the European Youth Media Days will be even more important. European elections are taking place 23-26 May 2019. In the 2014 elections there was a participation of around 43%, but only 27% of the young European citizens went to vote, in some Member States the participation of the young people was even lower, for example around 5% in Slovakia.
European Youth Media Days could be used as a test-case on how to motivate young people about Europe. The workshops will gather 120 young communication professionals. Their objective would be to discuss with their young mates or peers about the policies that engage them, from different perspectives, to get them interested in the European elections 2019. This year’s EYMD is a good opportunity also to encourage young multipliers to explain the importance of voting.
The EYMD is focusing on the European Parliament elections from different angles:
Firstly, communicating elections: how do the European Parliament (e.g. communication team, press officers, MEPs) and media communicate about the elections? How do they activate young European citizens to go vote. Political campaigns play a huge role on this. They send out the messages that are important to the society at this time, and create a personal connection for voters with politics.
Secondly, the local and European level. How does your vote during the European Parliament elections influence your life on a local level? Legislations and other actions impact European citizens’ life and during this term we can find multiple examples.
Thirdly, the problem of misinformation. The Internet and the digital devices are rapidly changing both media production and news consumption habits. People can find information easily and quickly via websites or mobile applications. Social media channels and new media allow everyone to generate news and express their opinions. At the same time it is difficult to verify the facts. This gives the new opportunity to those who want to influence media and public opinion in their favour. Media literacy is becoming more important than ever before, especially in terms of elections where misinformation can influence the voter and thereby the outcome. The most important challenges of media literacy will be addressed in panel discussion organised by European Youth Press with Members of the European Parliament, representatives of socio-political sphere in Belgium and other high-ranking guests. The European Youth Media Days will give the freedom to critically and constructively think about, debate and journalistically cover, the importance and opportunities of European media literacy.