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
Help us continue to break the bad news bias
Positive News is helping more people than ever to get a balanced view of the world – one that supports their wellbeing and empowers them to make a difference towards a better future. And as our audience and impact grows, we’re showing the rest of the media that good news matters.
But the UK’s cost of living crisis is affecting our income, with fewer people able to commit to a magazine subscription – which has traditionally been our main source of funding. Plus, paper and printing costs keep rising.
We don’t want to put a paywall on our website, because we believe everyone should have the chance to benefit from good news. But we won’t be able to continue funding our online reporting without your help.
If you value what we do and can afford to, please consider making a one-off or regular contribution as a Positive News supporter. We need 1,000 readers to contribute just £3 per month to get us through this challenging time.
And remember, as a not-for-profit, we work only in service to you, and all funds go towards our journalism.