TORONTO, May 31, 2018 /CNW/ - With the Ontario election just a week away, the Canadian Journalism Foundation (CJF) and CIVIX are proud to launch NewsWise, a national news literacy program for Grade 5 to 12 teachers. The program is aimed at helping students cultivate habits of news consumption that support informed citizenship.
"One of the most pressing issues facing democracies today is the spread of mis – and disinformation," says Natalie Turvey, executive director of the CJF. "Being able to determine what is fact or fiction online is an essential skill of citizenship in the digital age. NewsWise starts in the classroom to equip the next generation of news consumers with the tools and skills they need to be good citizens and think critically about what they see online."
NewsWise lessons explore the relationship between journalism and democracy, help students recognize the standards of fact-based journalism, discern fact from opinion, identify the different types of incorrect information that circulate online, and provide tools and strategies for evaluating the credibility of information on the Internet. Content is focused on four themes: Journalism, The News, The Internet, and Fake News + Verification.
The curriculum includes videos on the NewsWise YouTube channel, featuring Canadian news leaders, journalists and academics speaking to the role of journalism in our society, explaining how newsrooms work, and taking students through tutorials on verification and fact checking.
The program will remain available year-round for teachers across Canada to use in conjunction with coming local and provincial votes, culminating with next year's federal election.
With a grant from Google Canada, NewsWise was developed by CIVIX, the organization behind Student Vote, and CJF's network of academics and journalists. The program is part of the Student Vote activities that reach 7,500 schools, representing 98 per cent of Canadian school boards. CJF is engaging Canada's journalism community to support program delivery.
CJF and CIVIX consulted a broad range of experts from a variety of disciplines to develop the program.
About The Canadian Journalism Foundation
Established in 1990, The Canadian Journalism Foundation promotes, celebrates, and facilitates excellence in journalism. The foundation runs a prestigious annual awards and fellowships program featuring an industry gala where news leaders, journalists and corporate Canada gather to celebrate outstanding journalistic achievement and the value of professional journalism. Through monthly J-Talks, a public speakers' series, the CJF facilitates dialogue among journalists, business people, academics and students about the role of the media in Canadian society and the ongoing challenges for media in the digital era. The foundation also fosters opportunities for journalism education, training and research.
CIVIX is a non-partisan, national registered charity dedicated to building the skills and habits of active and engaged citizenship among young Canadians. CIVIX works with elementary and high-school teachers to promote civic education and deliver experiential learning programs to students across the country.
Its flagship program, Student Vote, is a parallel election for students under the voting age that coincides with official election periods. During the last federal election in 2015, 922,000 students, from more than half of all schools in Canada and representing all 338 ridings, cast ballots for the official candidates. This spring, 250,000 students, from 2,700 Ontario schools, will be participating in the 2018 Ontario provincial election.
SOURCE Canadian Journalism Foundation