With the support of the European Union and the Council of Europe and in collaboration with Serbia's Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM), a comprehensive study delving into the media literacy of preschool children has yielded valuable insights, redefining our understanding of how the youngest members of society interact with the digital realm.
The research, conducted with the active participation of preschool educators, sheds light on the media habits of Serbia's youngest digital citizens. The findings reveal that a significant majority of preschoolers now have access to the vast world of the internet and social networks. Among their preferred online playgrounds, YouTube appears as the champion, capturing the attention of more than half of estimated preschool children, closely followed by TikTok. However, the study takes a more sobering turn when it comes to the influence of these digital platforms on Serbia's preschool population. 69.7% of surveyed preschool educators expressed their concerns, labelling the impact of social networks on their charges as either "harmful" or "very harmful."
In response to these findings, the REM is initiating a media literacy initiative aimed at not only raising awareness but also equipping preschool educators with the tools needed to teach safe navigation in the digital landscape.
This initiative is supported under the action “Protecting freedom of expression and of the media (PROFREX) in Serbia”, a part of the joint European Union and the Council of Europe programme “Horizontal Facility for the Western Balkans and Türkiye”.