What is your role in the organization you are leading?
I’m teacher and researcher. I see the mission of Vilnius University, and the mission of myself, in not only providing knowledge, skills for students, but to widening their understanding of world stressing the importance of critical thinking.
How would you describe the mission and expertise of your organisation in the field of media literacy/ critical thinking/ fact checking/ countering disinformation?
We as university have to be among those who create the basis for competencies for those who work in the field of media, or those who could be opinion leaders or those who are the experts/professionals we ask for help when we need – information and communication professionals.
What are the main resources developed by your organisation you’d be willing to share?
I do research in media sociology and political communication. These areas are tightly related to media literacy, analysis of media activities, media management, media’s role in political, public discourses.
Which are, in your opinion, the three biggest current challenges related to countering disinformation in your country?
- Because of AI and other technological developments there’s a need to revise fact-checking, debunking activities.
- Changing narratives and methods used by those who expose public discourse by malign narrative.
- Age groups and their interaction with malign narratives, and their attitudes toward disinformation.
Could you name three solutions that you implemented or else want to recommend as an advice how to counter disinformation, strengthen societies’ critical thinking skills and build civil resilience to disinformation?
- Educational programs (pre-school and school education programs) where media literacy, critical thinking competencies would be integrated into subjects, but not as an independent subject.
- Integration of youth into active civic activities, as they are active in social media platforms, and have no historical memory of war or armed conflict situations that make them more vulnerable to malign narratives.
- Communication policies on promoting EU, country narrative through various communication means (mainstream media, creative industries, etc.).
What are the top three events or dates you have witnessed this year that have caused an intensification of disinformation activities?
This year is special – pandemic situation has had impact on disinformation activities from several foreign actors.
In your opinion, which future three dates/events are likely to bring about the intensification of disinformation activities in 2020-2021?
Traditionally these dates could be 9 May, the first weekend of May.
What are the prevailing disinformation narratives you have observed in the media space this year.
The main narratives have not changed: failing state, poor governance.
Would you like to highlight any of the disinformation cases you have witnessed/ discovered/ debunked?
Last cases are related with interpretation of situation around Navalny.
In your opinion, who are the best performing actors – in your country, as well as in the EU – playing crucial roles in the field of media literacy today and why?
Universities, youth NGOs and elves.
Interview from February, 2021.