Winners of the Media Literacy Competition “Truth or Fiction?”
The Communications Commission has held the presentation and awards event for the media literacy competition “Truth or Fiction?” The contest, which aims to develop critical thinking, analysis and fact-checking skills, has four winners. 20 pupils from 10th and 11th grades took part in the competition. The winners were selected by a competent jury panel. The contest was organised by the Communications Commission and the Media Academy together with the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport of Georgia.
As part of the competition, participants were required to identify fake news in Georgian media space (including the internet, television and print media) that had not yet been confirmed as inaccurate. The pupils had to explain how they identified the information, present the relevant source and establish real facts surrounding the case.
Applications for the contest were received between 16 May and 21 June. The jury panel identified four outstanding entries. The winners presented their works in person and received impressive and topical prizes from the Communications Commission.
The first prize in the competition was won by Lasha Kurdadze from public school #8 in Khashuri, who identified misleading information regarding the age limit for obtaining a driver’s license being disseminated across social networks. False stories with headlines such as “17-year-olds will no longer be able to apply for a driver’s license” were designed to mislead users on social media platforms. Members of the public fell victim to the fake news and proceeded to share them across social networks.
To verify this information, Lasha contacted the MIA Service Agency and established that the story concerned a legislative initiative that had not yet been implemented. The initiative was under review, and the final formulations were set to be announced at a later stage.
Lasha Kurdadze selected a creative approach, choosing a topic that was relevant to himself and his peers, critically assessing the information and presenting his work in the form of a video clip. Lasha received highest marks from the jury panel and a MacBook Pro as a gift.
The second place in the competition went to Ilia Sadghobelashvili from the village of Chala in the Municipality of Sachkhere. His work deals with a fake news story titled “Soon Georgia will recognise the Occupation Line as State Border,” which was reported by Georgian media outlets. Ilia identified and highlighted the factors that were typical of a fake story, such as the absence of a reliable source of information. Instead, the story was based on a Facebook post that contained old information. Ilia used logic to connect all factors to each other and found a statement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Georgia that clearly states Georgia’s official position regarding the opening of so-called customs crossing points.
Ilia Sadghobelashvili’s work, which was also presented in the form of a creative video clip, received high marks from the jury panel. Ilia received an iPhone XS for finishing in second place.
The third place went to Ruben Gulasariani from public school #91 in Tbilisi, whose work deals with fake information about an Armenian Facebook page ‘appropriating’ Georgian national dishes.
Ruben compared the images posted by the source of the story to the images from the popular Armenian Facebook page. He also established discrepancies between the dates when the images were uploaded and the information was supposedly received by the source. Ruben’s critical assessment skills, his use of photos to support his findings, as well as his creative presentation, led to the jury panel awarding him the third place in the competition, for which he received an iPad Pro + Apple Pencil as a gift.
The jury’s special prize was received by David Abzianidze from public school #20 in Kutaisi, whose work deals with frequently disseminated fake news on subjects such as the end of the world. David’s work did not fully satisfy the terms of the competition, but it was exceptionally creative and fun. The author demonstrated great skill in identifying the fake news, verifying information and establishing true facts. He therefore received a special prize for a “creative and entertaining work.” David will attend a two-week course at the summer school of the Buckswood International School in Tbilisi.
During the course of 2019, the Communications Commission will implement five media literacy projects together with the Ministry of Education.
Members of the “Truth or Fiction?” jury panel:
Khatuna Ivanishvili - Head of Department for Media Literacy Development at GNCC;
Giorgi Putkaradze – Head of the media school at the Media Academy;
Sandro Asatiani – Representative of the Ministry of Education, Science, Culture and Sport; expert on information and communications technologies;
Shorena Shaverdashvili – Media expert;
Natia Kuprashvili – Media expert.