Literacy has taken a broader meaning today, encompassing its functions for society. Nevertheless, in the medieval era literacy only means one’s ability to read or write, and literacy still cannot be separated from these basic functions of reading and writing, Sadly, we encounter a distressing fact about low reading interest in Indonesia, which is aggravated by rampant hoaxes spread in the country. Considering these facts, a forum is needed to gather Indonesia’s literacy activists in the hope of bettering the situation.
Literacy Night is a forum established as a room for literacy activists and literacy enthusiasts. The Literacy Night forum is filled with discussion on literacy issues, including reading interest improvement, writing skills training, talks on digital issues and other issues related to literacy relevant to Indonesia’s situation. The topic for the first Literacy Night was Digital Literacy due to its important role in today’s society. It is also an attractive topic to interest young literacy enthusiasts in Jakarta. The topic also opened discussions about rampant fake news within the society, and we hope with the help of our expert speakers every participant could broaden their knowledge and brought back their learnings to their own communities and families.
Two digital literacy practitioners were invited to elaborate further on the topic. The first speaker was Aribowo, the Co-Founder of Indonesian Anti-Defamation Society or Masyarakat Anti Fitnah Indonesia (MAFINDO), a movement focusing on spreading understanding on how hoaxes are poorly impacting the society. The second speaker was Ari B Wibowo, a committee member of Siber-Kreasi movement. The Siber-Kreasi movement is an effort to improve community’s awareness on the importance of digital literacy. Many participants were satisfied with the talks delivered by both speakers, with many questions raised to the panel. Based on the evaluation form given, many participants were also eager to come to the next events – as we plan to hold the event routinely two times a month.
We hope that the Literacy Night forum could improve people’s understanding of literacy and encourage them to boost literacy in their surrounding communities. Just like the tight relation between a mother and a child, a person must first have the ability to read in order to delve into literacy and its issues.