The seven installments of this report by WAN-IFRA concentrate on news literacy-related actions that publishers have helped to do or could do.
To help it consider strategic initiatives in news literacy and other news in education work that involves - or could involve - news publishers, the American Press Institute asked WAN-IFRA's Youth Engagement and News Literacy division to investigate good practice outside the United States.
This report is the result of that inquiry and concentrates on work involving primary and secondary students, with some attention to the youngest adults up to age 25 (WAN-IFRA's definition of "youth"). In addition, there is a database of 130 cases of news literacy actions around the world done by or that could be of interest to news publishers. Installments were released between March and May 2017.
“News literacy” is the subset of what UNESCO calls “media and information literacy” that focuses on the content produced by journalistic reporting and how it differs from other content. A unique strength of news literacy comes from its originators – journalists – with the resulting natural emphasis on curiosity about how the world works and an informed questioning of all information. (More about the origins of news literacy HERE.)
As Washington Post executive editor Marty Baron told an audience at the 2016 MediaXchange, "Journalism means we get to the bottom of a story. Content is picking up an iPhone and taking a picture...anybody can do that."
An understanding of how real, ethical, professional journalism works, the dangers to some of those who do it, and its purpose in encouraging democracy must come at the very start of any news literacy activity.
This understanding should precede the classic deconstruction of news messages or there is a high risk of creating a generation of cynics who are contemptuous of journalism at the outset as they protects themselves from fake news, alternative facts or whatever new variation emerges.
News publishers need to be involved in this work. The good news is that they already are.
The seven installments of this report concentrate on news literacy-related actions on the local, regional and national level that publishers have helped to do or could do. All actions aim to help create an audience for professionally produced journalism, of course, but more importantly they aim to create a new generation that is literate, civic-minded, media-savvy and capable of navigating all kinds of content.
Parts 1 through 6 also offer some outstanding U.S. examples after the assigned emphasis on non-U.S. practice and also some free WAN-IFRA resources to get publishers started in doing something similar.
In addition, the report includes initiatives by other kinds of organisations that offer useful models publishers could adapt to their own countries.
Finally, Part 7 describes the approach in one country where expression is far from free that can nonetheless serve as a model for inventing the future most anywhere.