Image for The free online course that teaches you how to decode the media

The free online course that teaches you how to decode the media

A news literacy course is helping people navigate the media, so they feel reliably informed and empowered to act

A news literacy course is helping people navigate the media, so they feel reliably informed and empowered to act

If you find the mainstream news depressing, you’re not alone. Thirty-eight per cent of us now avoid the news, up from 29 per cent in 2017, according to a recent survey by the Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism.

A News Literacy Network has launched to tackle this problem, aiming to teach people how to engage with the news without becoming overwhelmed with negative feelings. The not-for-profit organisation will help people develop the critical skills from an early age to understand what the role of the news is, what impact it has on us, and crucially, to know where else to look to develop a more accurate worldview.

“The news plays such a powerful role in our lives, whether you’re a news addict or news avoidant: we’re all affected,”explained Jodie Jackson, founder of the News Literacy Network. “We want to give people the skills to be able to navigate the news in a way that leaves them reliably informed about the world and empowered to act on that information. I believe news literacy is an essential life skill and should be on the curriculum.”

As well as offering a free ‘Get News Lit’ digital course, the network is a comprehensive resource for educators and parents, connecting them to the kind of solutions-focused journalism that Positive News pioneered. 

The News Literacy Network has also partnered with three schools in south London to run a six-week pilot programme for sixth form students, training them in news literacy. 

The ultimate aim is to open up the course for parents in a nationwide news literacy programme rolled out in libraries across the country.

Main image: Roman Kraft

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