Interview of Jozef Vojtas after the Training Course.
Can you give us your opinion about the project “Post-truth“? What is the most important thing you have learned during the training?
I was so lucky to be selected as a participant in the Erasmus + training course on the topic of "Post-truth" and disinformation which took place in Berlin, Germany between 14-21 March 2022. I spent one unforgettable week in the heart of Berlin together with young like-minded people from all over Europe. Not only did we have engaging discussions and debates during the training but we could also discover the city and do various creative activities such as making a short film, interviewing locals about their perception of fake news or simply enjoying a visit to the many fascinating museums related to German history. I feel privileged to have learnt so many news skills and developed my critical thinking when it comes to disinformation especially in these challenging times of war and forced displacement for many. It was also a privilege to represent my country and to make new friends and lasting memories. The most important thing that I learnt was how important it is for any individual to have soft skills, strong communication abilities as well as critical thinking. The training helped me to develop those skills and make me more aware of aspects of my day-to-day work and studies that I can improve.
In your opinion, how can young people deal with propaganda, misinformation and fake news? Do you have your own tips?
It is crucial for young people to possess knowledge, to be well-informed and to always strive to learn more through civil engagement. Disinformation and fake news spread the fastest among people who do not possess critical thinking or who are less knowledgeable about certain topics. One should be aware of the negative consequences of fake news and the political as well as economic goals that stand behind their spreading in order to be able to recognise them. Good knowledge of social media and fact-checking skills could help many to navigate better in a safer way through the world wide web. Being critical and responsible about the information one reads and shares with others is also highly important.
How do you plan to share and use your knowledge in your local community?
I work as an educator and I am privileged to still be a student and therefore be in a position where I can share with others my knowledge and experience. I have already had the chance to speak to friends and not only share what a fabulous experience it is to travel and meet people from all over Europe but to also gain knowledge on a crucial topic such as disinformation. I have done the same with my family and I will continue making efforts to reach a larger audience because telling is a powerful way. I learnt great examples and sources of information to use during trainings and activities thanks to the Copernicus Berlin organisation and I am planning to incorporate those when making presentations in front of others. Furthermore, thanks to the communication skills and greater confidence in speaking in front of others that I developed during the training, I would like to reach out to more young people who are members of local NGOs in my hometown.