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WAN-IFRA releases first findings from API-supported inquiry on news literacy

This week is the annual “News in Education Week,” a time when NIE programs at newspaper media across the U.S. typically draw additional attention to the work they seek to do year-round: help young people understand journalism and its value.

Coinciding with NIE Week, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) has also begun to roll out their findings from related work we supported in 2016.

The American Press Institute and the former Newspaper Association of America’s foundation have long-supported WAN-IFRA’s youth and media work, which focuses on youth engagement and what’s commonly referred to as “news literacy.” As part of our own efforts to rethink news literacy efforts in the U.S., we asked WAN-IFRA to collect some of the best ideas from across its international networks. Examples come from their work with what the organization calls Centers of Youth Engagement Excellence as well as recent winners of its World Young Reader Prizes, a yearly contest that recognizes top or promising work in the space.

Their report based on that information has been packaged as a new series: “News literacy and news publishers: 7 ways forward to help young audiences.” The debut piece deals with helping young people navigate the digital spaces they inhabit.

Topics of upcoming installments include:

  • How to promote encounters between youth and journalists
  • How news organizations are creating journalism specifically for children and teenagers
  • How publishers can help young people create journalism themselves

As part of the project, WAN-IFRA is also sharing a collection of more than 100 examples of what news publishers have done to further news literacy.

This information should provide ideas for U.S. news organizations about practices to improve news literacy. Many existing efforts, including NIE, focus on young people. In 2017, it’s likely that news media — as well as technology companies and civic groups — are thinking about efforts that include multiple age groups. At API, we’ve also noted our interest in how the journalism itself might change for the betterment of news literacy.

Programs devoted to young people play an important role in any future, however, and there are lessons to be learned here for all.

Read the WAN-IFRA report series, News literacy and news publishers: 7 ways forward to help young audiences.

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