This report evaluates the impact of the first year of NewsWise – a free, cross-curricular news literacy programme for 9- to 11-year-olds across the UK, developed by the Guardian Foundation, the National Literacy Trust and the PSHE Association, and funded by Google.
NewsWise aims to empower children from disadvantaged communities with the skills and knowledge to engage with and enjoy news, to feel confident to ask questions and to challenge misinformation, and to have their own values and opinions. Between April 2018 to April 2019:
- 2,476 pupils in 42 UK primary schools took part in face-to-face NewsWise workshops, giving children the chance to learn about news, improve their news literacy skills and prepare their own reports
- 540 teachers received face-to-face training, helping schools support and embed news literacy across the curriculum
- 3,520 resources and 703 units of work were downloaded by schools from the NewsWise website
The evaluation found that children who took part in NewsWise developed a deeper understanding of why and how news stories are created, reported greater confidence when navigating news and showed increased critical engagement with the news:
- 3 in 4 pupils (76%) had a better understanding of why news is created
- Children became increasing aware that fact-checking is an essential element of creating news, rising from 52% before participation in the programme to 70%
- More pupils believed the news should be fair (from 41% to 72%), balanced (35% to 72%) and truthful (from 80% to 88%)
- 8 in 10 pupils (84%) were more confident spotting fake news, while the percentage who said they find it difficult to tell if a news story is trustworthy decreased from 49% to 33%
- The percentage of pupils saying they weren’t interested in the news decreased from 33% to 25%
- 100% of teachers say their pupils now have increased confidence in thinking critically about news and 96% say pupils also have increased skills in this area
Find out more about NewsWise.