There has been plenty of discussion surrounding fake news. Most of us have seen it and possibly been taken in by it. It is rife on social media. Some argue fake news even managed to elect a President of the United States.
In an attempt to reduce the influence of fake news the BBC have launched a new initiative. From March 2018 the BBC will providing mentoring to 1,000 secondary schools and sixth forms across the UK. The programme will help students identify real news while filtering out fake stories.
BBC journalists including Hew Edwards and Nikki Fox will be taking part. The programme will offer a mix of classroom tuition, online information, and live events.
Free online materials will also be available to every school in the country. This will include classroom activities, videos, and an interactive game. The game has been developed by Aardman Studio and players can experience being a BBC journalist.
Neil Pymer, Interactive Creative Director, Aardman says: “Navigating through the murky waters of what’s real or fake news can be a difficult challenge in an age where it’s become such a prolific part of the media landscape.
“We’re proud to be working with the BBC to create a game that promotes news literacy and simulates the fast-paced world of news production. At Aardman, we believe passionately that games can bring about understanding in ways traditional media can’t. By immersing players in the heady world of journalism, we hope we can inspire and inform young people.”
Why are the BBC rolling out this programme?
James Harding, Director of BBC News and Current Affairs, says: “Never has it been so important for young people to develop their critical thinking and to be news literate, and have the skills to filter out fakery from the truth, especially on their busy social media feeds.
“BBC News, as the most trusted news provider and home of Reality Check, is ideally placed to bring this project to schools and young people around the country.”
So what is fake news?
The BBC defines fake news as “false information distributed deliberately, usually for political or commercial (gain).”
Which is a pretty fair summing up.
In their press release publicising the new programme the BBC also say: “BBC News is committed to achieving the highest standards of accuracy and impartiality and to being rigorous in establishing the truth of the story.”
You may have your own views on that.
Please let us know what you think by leaving a comment below.