Black Sea Speaker Series: To Share or Not to Share in Sofia with Mirela Petkova | January 24,2023

Mirela Petkova (Media Literacy Coalition, Factcheck.bg) met with young people from Ukraine, Georgia and Bulgaria for a lecture and discussion on how to recognize and counteract misinformation in social media.

Mirela Petkova – a journalist, media literacy trainer and fact checker – took part in the Black Sea Speaker Series: To Share or Not to Share, organized by the US missions in Bulgaria, Georgia and Ukraine. The event was co-organized by the American Corner at the Sofia Metropolitan Library in Sofia, American Corner Tbilisi and America House Kyiv and held on January 24, 2023 in front of an audience of attendees and more than 60 people who participated in the meeting online.

Within 60 minutes, Mirela presented the different types of misleading content, the techniques and patterns of spreading misinformation online, ways to recognize it, the role of users who are not only consumers but also creators and distributors of content, the reasons for people’s susceptibility to all forms of manipulation, and approaches when communicating with purveyors of misinformation, propaganda, and conspiracy theories in our own social circles. Peter Vanderwall – Information Officer at the U.S. Embassy in Sofia – opened, moderated and facilitated the meeting.

The Black Sea Speaker Series: To Share or Not to Share is a regional program that features hybrid events hosted by the American Centers in participating European countries. It is part of the U.S. State Department’s global American Corners initiative, which provides books and electronic media and provides free Internet access to educational materials.

The regional program provides an opportunity for youth leaders and emerging voices to educate themselves about key opportunities and challenges impacting countries on the Black Sea. Volunteers, beneficiaries and other interested persons from the American corner of Tbilisi attended the event on January 24th. The second part of the meeting was held in question and answer mode.

Mirela Petkova is a freelance journalist and part of the Factcheck.bg team. She graduated in International Relations from the University of Groningen and holds a Master’s degree in LLM from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

Mirela is certified Media Literacy trainers for seniors after her participation in the competition, organized by the Media Literacy Coalition with the support of the Lachezar Tsotzorkov Foundation last year. At the end of 2022, Mirela became a member of the Coalition and from then on she is part of the team developing the organization’s projects and programs. She is passionate about issues affecting the Balkans, Eastern Europe and China, and about debunking misinformation and intelligence through open sources of information. Since the fall of 2020, she has worked at the British media outlet New Statesman, where she collects, analyzes, and visualizes databases related to the energy transition and climate change. Her main goal is to support journalists with verified, reliable and timely information.

Cover image: America House Kyiv
Photos from the event: Media Literacy Coalition

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