As regards to the implementation of the CLASS project, executed with the financial support provided by Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA's financial mechanism, the European Institute carried out a consultation to parents of young people.

To the question if their children have access to a smartphone, 92.1% of the respondents give a positive answer. Regarding the access to a tablet/laptop, the percentage declines significantly (86.8%), to television - 89.5%, and to radio - 78,9%.

When asked how often their children watch TV, 48% of parents answer "Everyday but in small rates", and 25.7% - "Rarely or only on weekends". To the same question referred to the frequency of smartphone/tablet or laptop usage, the answer "Above 3 hours every day" leads with 43,2%.

73,7% of parents believe that while being on the Internet, their children visit fun websites with games. 62,2% suppose that their children mainly communicate with their friends on the Internet, and 66,7% state that while being on the Internet, their children look for some additional information on school subjects.

Concerning listening to music and watching movies online, 86.5% of parents think that children are mainly involved in these activities online.

To the question where children inform themselves about important events and processes in the country and around the world, most of the respondents indicate "Conversations with family" (64.9%), followed by "Television or radio news" (24.3%).

51,4% of respondents believe that their child is able to distinguish fake from real news, however 43,2% are not sure and indicate “Maybe” as an answer.

73,7% of parents are worried about the rapid spread of false information online and consider that it is dangerous.

As regards to the recognizability of the term 'media literacy' and how to explain it to adolescents, 56.8% of the respondents see the school’s role as the most important and find that a specialized educational program for the matter is beneficial.

Most of parents (63,2%) share that there were conversations within their families about critical thinking and information sources selection. However, 23.7% say they had not discussed the issue.

Asked whether they themselves doubt the authenticity of the information provided by the traditional media (print, radio, television), 52,6% share that they often doubt and 44.7% doubt sometimes. Only 2.6% trust completely. Regarding the information in social media and Internet, the often doubters dominate (68,4%).

Finally, we present you some of parents of young people’s answers to the question "What do you think the purpose of fake news is?":

  • To confuse and to create turmoil. Distraction from other important news or provocation to some ideas.
  • I believe that the purpose of fake news is to attract more readers (if it is a website) and therefore to have more advertisers for funding.
  • To confuse or direct people's attention in the wrong direction.
  • Manipulation of public opinion. Delusion for personal gain. Masked fraud, hidden advertising depending on the concreate news.

The CLASS project is implemented with the financial support of Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway through the EEA's financial mechanism. The aim of the project is to encourage the media literacy and civic education.

The entire responsibility for the content of this article is held by the European Institute Foundation and under no circumstances can it be assumed that it reflects the official opinion of the Financial Mechanism of the European Economic Area and the Bulgarian Operator of the Active Citizens Fund.

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