Fake news is gaining a foothold in Greece as it ranks poorly among countries in Europe regarding the evaluation of news. What’s more, concern is also exacerbated by the mediocre performance of Greek children in indicators that measure their critical ability.
More specifically, according to the Media Literacy Index 2021, Greece is one of the most vulnerable countries in Europe to misinformation and fake news, placing 27th place among 35 countries.
A case in point are the conspiracy theories surrounding coronavirus vaccinations, an issue of paramount importance for the protection of public health. However public safety is being compromised by a proliferation of fake news and unscientific views that have been circulating over the last seven months.
To the end of tackling misinformation and fake news, a recent report by an independent panel of experts of the European Commission suggests that multidimensional policies must be promulgated from an early age.
The experts insist that education and critical knowledge of the media and information should be a key dimension of school curricula, and should also be included in teacher education and lifelong learning programs.
Alas, Greece lags behind in this field as well if the results of the last (2018) OECD PISA competition among 16-year-olds are anything to go by.
In text comprehension, Greek students scored 457 points placing Greece in 42nd position among 77 countries, while in the 2015 competition they scored 467 units placing Greece in 41st. The OECD average is 487 points.
A special meeting on Thursday of Parliament’s Committee on Educational Affairs will discuss the topic of Education in the Media: Misinformation and Fake news. Guests include Renee Hobbs from the University of Rhode Island, journalist Pavlos Tsimas, Michael Bletsas, research scientist and the Director of Computing at the MIT Media Lab, as well as Nikolaos Panayiotou, associate Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki.