We will engage 40 citizens from all over Poland in building public debate on essential topics that divide Poles now, such as the COVID 19 pandemic, vaccines, the condition and role of the Catholic Church, situation of the LGTB+ community, and climate change. There is a lot of contradictory information on the pandemic that can be found online, and according to the Centrum Badań Opinii Społecznej (CBOS) research, 46% of citizens negatively evaluate the role of Church, while 43% have a positive opinion about it. At the same time, according to the 2018 and 2019 CBOS data, now the level of trust in the media has been the lowest since 2002. The ‘Fake News from the Perspective of Polish Journalists’ report results indicate that as many as 42% of journalists come across fake news every day. Moreover, according to the ‘COVID 19 impact on the society’ report, the social polarisation has considerably increased in Poland during the pandemic, including topics we have selected.
We will address this problem by training volunteers in digital competencies, the phenomenon of fake news, and principles of good journalism. These individuals will monitor media communication to 4 selected controversial topics. The results of the monitoring will be published in our ‘Dyskurs & Dialog’ quarterly. Every quarter we will organise a debate featuring experts, activists and journalists representing different outlooks on selected topics. Additionally, we will organise workshops in secondary schools to teach participants what fake news is, what threats it presents, and how to identify it. Finally, based on materials gathered and with specialist support, we will prepare a draft of a new media act. It will be consulted with the media, NGOs, and experts, and then sent to political groups in the Parliament interested in this issue.