The Internet can present challenges to a tolerant diverse society

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Media Awareness Network

THUNDER BAY – Understanding each other, and building bridges between cultures, and sharing information so that people can better understand our world, and our society is something that the media can assist in accomplishing. “What young people see and hear in media helps them to understand the world, and who and what are valued in our society. The Internet, in particular, presents challenges to a tolerant, diverse society with its easily accessible messages of hate,” said Jane Tallim, Co-Executive Director of Media Awareness Network. “These new resources will help young people – who may lack life experience and critical development – to recognize and challenge stereotyping and hateful messaging in the media they consume”.

Media Awareness Network (MNet) today launched a new suite of digital and media literacy resources to help educate young people about how media representations can negatively influence how we view certain groups in society. The Diversity and Media Toolbox, a web-based program for teachers, students, law enforcement representatives and the general public, looks at issues relating to stereotyping, bias and hate in mainstream media and the Internet. The program is broken into two distinct but complementary topic areas: online hate and media portrayals of ethnicity and race, religion, disability, sexual orientation and Aboriginal people.

The Diversity and Media Toolbox, which comprises online tutorials, lessons, interactive student modules, and background articles, is freely available at: www.media-awareness.ca. The Toolbox was made possible with financial support from the Government of Canada through Justice Canada’s Justice Partnership and Innovation Program.

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