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BBC wants to help UK kids improve media literacy

The School Report initiative will feature free online materials and tutorials, a news literacy game from Aardman, mentoring from BBC journalists and a traveling Reality Check Roadshow tour.
December 6, 2017

The BBC is set to launch a new scheme aimed to help young people better identify real online news from fake or false information.

BBC’s media literacy project School Report (a collaboration between BBC Academy and BBC News) will deliver the program to 1,000 secondary schools across the UK from March 2018. Announced today by BBC News director James Harding at the Children’s Global Media Summit in Manchester, the initiative will provide mentoring in classes, online or at events from leading BBC journalists including Huw Edwards, Tina Daheley, Nikki Fox, Kamal Ahmed and Amol Rajan.

Along with free online materials, classroom activities and video tutorials, the program will also include an interactive game developed by Aardman, which will let players experience what’s it’s like to be a BBC journalist in the heart of the newsroom.

To further promote the initiative, a Reality Check Roadshow tour will travel England giving local schools the opportunity to nominate students who will be able to attend one of a dozen regional events. Select students will also be invited to present their own Reality Check reports on BBC School Report News Day next March.

In related BBC news, the corporation’s new Own It web portal aimed to help nine- to 12-year-old kids navigate online risks is now live. Announced yesterday by BBC director-general Tony Hall, the website is the first product to launch as part of the BBC’s new US$44-million, digital-centric funding injection in children’s programming over the next three years.

Sitting alongside CBBC and CBeebies, the website features content from presenters and vloggers covering issues such as cyber-bullying, avoiding malware, privacy and online safety. The site launch follows a recent report from Ofcom that found that half of under-13s in the UK have social media profiles.

Both Own It and the BBC’s online news literacy program arrive as YouTube is cracking down on inappropriate content aimed at kids by upping its content moderation team to more than 10,000 workers in 2018.

About The Author
Jeremy is the Features Editor of Kidscreen specializing in the content production, broadcasting and distribution aspects of the global children's entertainment industry. Contact Jeremy at jdickson@brunico.com.

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