RespectNET - Respectful Communication through Media Education Network

Project Aim

The RespectNET project aims to develop the media literacy of university staff and students to foster a culture of respectful scientific dialogue within the university and civil society.

Project objectives

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Target Groups

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Main data

Project number: 2021-1-IT02-KA220-HED-000027578

Project Title: RespectNET – Respectful Communication through Media Education Network

Project Duration: 1 December 2021 to 31 July 2024

National Agency of the Applicant Organisation: IT02 – Agenzia Nazionale Erasmus+ – INDIRE

Project Description

During the COVID-19 pandemic, social inequality and societal incoherence demonstrably increased. They became more visible, mainly through negative communication, fake news, disinformation and cyber-bullying. Such development is reflected in many European countries. Furthermore, recent scientific studies suggest that general societal behaviour, habits, and attitudes that grew out of social media impact the universities and significantly affect scholarly communication.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, universities have moved many of their activities online. As a result, university teachers are the focus of attention, as they should be role models of trustful, respectful and encouraging communication. Therefore, media literacy must be a universal part of university teacher competence. However, while media literacy has a strong tradition in social work, pedagogics, and youth work practice, there is a lack of imparting these competencies within the broader higher education environment.

However, there is little knowledge of students’ and faculty’s media consumption and media creation habits. Moreover, universities are not sufficiently networked with the broader civil society, youth groups, and cultural and civic initiatives. For these reasons, cyberbullying poses a double risk. Young people and students can fall victim to it, but they can also become cyberbullies themselves. Consequently, it is necessary to focus on the relationship between the media and youth culture and the digital media skills of young people. The latter relates not only to the use of technology but also to the development of cognitive resources that critically evaluate information.

This project calls for educational literacy confined to acquiring skills and developing a critical structure for understanding social, economic, and communication contexts.

Project Results

University members and civil society activists need a dependable definition of the most effective and currently lacking competencies to set good communication standards and counter negative communication to make Universities a role model of respectful communication and productive exchange with civil society.

Multi-Media Modules on Media Competences and Respectful Communication for university staff, students, civil society

The result addresses the need for training for coping with the disruptive style of anti-scientific narratives, hate speech and cyberbullying that currently dominates the public discourse and negatively impacts Universities. A common competency-building programme of good, factful, effective and respectful communication will be developed and implemented to ensure that the public discourse at Universities and between scientists and civil society is a safe and encouraging space.

The partners will create content for a transmedia platform that will feed a transmedia outreach strategy by the partners on the topic of respectful communication and dialogue within the University and between the University and Civil Society.

Snippet-sized multimedia messages on Social Media, short videos for use on YouTube, Tik Tok, Twitter, Instagram etc., will be produced to “go viral” to create a dominance of respectful attitudes as a standard of good practice and behaviour at universities and in Civil Society. hero image
Online learning


Project Leader






Verein für sozialwissenschaftliche Beratung und Forschung e.V. (germany)


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    RespectNET Project – Respectful Communication through Media Education Network

    The European Commission’s support for the production of this publication does not constitute an endorsement of the contents which reflects the views only of the authors, and the Commission cannot be held responsi­ble for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

    NOTE: All translations from English into the other languages of the project partners are machine-generated.

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