It would be hard to adequately convey how much our students who participated in the Irish News Critical Media Literacy Project enjoyed the experience. The excitement when the newspaper arrived each Wednesday morning was huge and to hear the students’ responses as they leafed through the pages was fascinating. The materials were so helpful and so well received. However, it was only when they started to create their own work that the extent of their learning became abundantly apparent. To hear eight-year-old children discussing their work with each other and talking with such enthusiasm about their ideas, their articles, illustrations, captions and headlines highlighted what a powerful medium the newspaper is for the sharing of information. Suddenly, there were recipes, interviews and sports commentaries appearing out of the ether!
In 2021, more than 4000 students participated in the Young Newsreaders Project. Here’s what they had to say!
More than ever, it is important that young people know what news is real and what isn’t. Newspapers give you more background and put forward the different side of story in a way that social media cannot. We find that children may see something on YouTube or Instagram and then go find out more about it in the printed newspaper. They don’t see a newspaper as old fashioned, if anything they’re coming back into fashion among our young news readers. Children are bombarded with news about Brexit, Climate Change, Refugees, the border, local politicians. They need to be able to understand what is real news and what is fake. In the social media era where communications are delivered in 280 characters it is useful that young people see the truth behind the news.
Mrs Hughes St Mary’s High School
I loved the Irish News project. I really enjoyed using my press pass, because I felt like a real-life journalist. When I was told that we were going to interview people for The Irish News project I was ecstatic. The Irish News Project is one of my favourite memories of Year 8 and it brought a smile to everyone in my class!