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Finding clarity through media literacy

00:00 / 46:51

A conversation with
Mihajlo Lahtov

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Laura María Calderón Cuevas

Véronique Lerch

Brua |


The guest of this episode, Mihajlo Lahtov, has 25 years of experience as a media literacy trainer, project manager, and communications specialist. His most recent position was as project director for the USAID Media Literacy Project YouThink, implemented in North Macedonia by IREX a global development and education organization. and three local partners. What lead him to working on media literacy is his combined love for reading and his activism for democracy and human rights. He is passionate about media literacy because he thinks that it turns people into active citizens.


I love human rights because human rights are teaching us how to be human and how to be better people. And I think that the role media can play is very important to human rights. For example, I was always interested in how media represent different communities, diverse people and communities. His master thesis was about how media are portraying different national minorities with a case study in Bulgaria.

Mihajlo quotes on his LinkedIN profile the American journalist Linda Ellerbee: “media literacy is going to make the difference whether kids are a tool of the mass media or whether the mass media is a tool for the kids to use”. He reminds us that we do not live with the media, but we live in the media. In his opinion, there are three ways of understanding the world: direct experience, listening and observing others, and finally media representation. Our direct experience is becoming smaller and today we mostly learn from media representation. His number one lesson in media literacy: media only represents the reality, they are not reality, they are a construct and are just representing one part of reality.

Media literacy helps to find clarity and to choose what is relevant what is done in a professional way in an objective way to separate it from terrible journalism.

His advice to graduates: curiosity and hard work. Let your curiosity lead your path but whatever you choose, you need to invest hard work.


Books mentioned in the episode

Yuval Noah Hariri, 21 Lessons for the 21st Century

Guy Debord, The Society of the Spectacle 

Peter Pomerantsev, Nothing Is True and Everything is Possible


Let your curiosity lead your path but whatever you choose, you need to invest hard work. 

Mihajlo Lavtov


Mihajlo Lahtov boasts over two decades of extensive experience in research, media, and journalism, with a specialization in communications and media literacy. Throughout his career, he has collaborated with a diverse range of teams, spanning from small local civil society organizations to prominent international institutions, including the OSCE Mission to Skopje and the German Development Agency (GIZ). In his most recent position as an IREX representative in North Macedonia and as the Project Director of the USAID Project on Media Literacy "YouThink," he spearheaded a team that actively supported the integration of media literacy into both formal and informal educational curricula.


Furthermore, for over a decade, Mihajlo has diligently served as a Media Literacy Trainer and Educator, imparting his knowledge through training sessions tailored to various participant groups. He also holds the distinction of being the author of two Media Literacy (MIL) handbooks, a co-author of the inaugural media literacy dictionary, and the author of numerous papers on this crucial subject.


Mihajlo holds a Master's Degree in Democracy and Human Rights , which he earned from the prestigious University of Sarajevo in collaboration with the University of Bologna. Currently, he is a PhD candidate at the Faculty for Media and Communication in Belgrade, furthering his expertise in the field.


Follow him on LinkedIn.

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