News literacy latest: BBC Young Reporter competition and new resources

Find out about a great opportunity for 11-18 year olds.  Plus, London CLC’s Peter Lillington gives an update on the latest news literacy resources for both younger and older children.

BBC Young Reporter competition: make the news

What do young people think the BBC should be reporting? The BBC Young Reporter competition is a great opportunity for  11-18 year olds to get an insight into how the news is ‘made’, including which stories get chosen as newsworthy and then how they are told. 

It’s the third year of this editorial opportunity for young people across the UK to suggest their original story ideas to the BBC – what is it that is relevant to their lives and their experiences that they think should be reflected further in the media?

Story suggestions are submitted online, as text, video or audio and can be from individuals or developed by a group.

Winners will tell their stories on TV, radio, online or on social media with the help of BBC journalists, producers and programme-makers. Stories have ranged from having a stutter to being a Makaton DJ, disability sport to upskirting, the lack of diversity in books to campaigning for a local skate park. This is an overview of last year’s winning stories

Judges include Huw Edwards, Radio 1’s Katie Thistleton, Newsround’s Ricky Boleto, Ellie Flynn and Mim Shiakh from BBC Three, Tina Daheley and The One Show’s Alex Jones.

 The closing date is 31 October 2020, though, so don’t hang about. All the details are available online at

News literacy resources update

On the digital literacy and news literacy front we’ll be keeping you posted about the progress of our News Project, which got off to a good start last Wednesday evening. During October and November teachers will be cultivating in their year five classes a community of news readers/decoders/comprehenders and analysts using materials made available through our partner in the project, First News (the First News iHub and activities linked to the weekly First News newspaper articles). We firmly believe that the benefits for these readers will extend beyond the project, which is going to culminate in November with our online celebration and challenge day. Find out more in this blog post.

Over in the US, Common Sense Education has produced some interesting resources, including some for younger children, on digital citizenship with videos and colouring-in books. For older students,  Project Look Sharp (also US based) has a range of activities, including analysing results from two Google searches, one for “coronavirus” and one for “the real truth about coronavirus,” to reflect on the impact of search terms on the sources that Google recommends.

Back to the UK and the Economist Educational Foundation has recently been producing some great resources using what they term their ‘News Cycle model’, which means that their resources focus on one story for two weeks giving students time to do some initial thinking and engagement with the materials, followed by week two when deeper exploration can happen. There’s a really extensive collection of resources accessible through their newsletter or directly on the website. Recent issues covered within the News Cycle model include coronavirus and the environment, Russia and Tik-Tok.We also like the resources from earlier in the year on Rights and the Internet and Conspiracy theories around Covid.

The Economist Educational Foundation, the Guardian Foundation, BBC Young reporter, First News together with a number of other partners are all part of the News Literacy Network to which we’re delighted to belong.

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