Colombian teachers and students did a first assessment of two news literacy resources during a special round table at the World News Media Congress in Cartagena, Colombia.
WAN-IFRA is creating a new basic guide for visiting journalists to talk with students about how freedom of expression and media freedom interlink and, with the Washington, DC - based NewseumED, new resources to help children and teenagers approach all content through the prism of a journalistic approach.
Teachers and secondary students, plus journalism students and professors gave a general thumbs up to draft versions of the two resouces with some concrete suggestions for tweaking them. Barbara McCormack, vice president, NewseumED offered an example of how to approach a "Belive it or Not" activity that has students decide whether or not a news story is the result of a hoax.
They also heard about latest best practice from Colombia itself from news in education coordinators at four organizations:
Claudia Dangond – Deputy Director, Andiarios, on the the national student reporting contest, along with past winners Victoria Ortiz Bayuelo, (2012) and Tania Torres Zúñiga (2013).
Eydith Barrios – School Program Coordinator, El Universal, on a cartoon contest that invites Cartagena teachers to learn the role of caricature and then help students draw their own creations.
Anabel Maussa – Head of the Press in School Program, El Meridiano de Córdoba, on that publisher's varied program.
Clara Tamayo - Coordinator of News in Education, El Colombiano, on how news can be used even in kindergarten.
Aralynn McMane, WAN-IFRA executive director for Youth Engagement and News Literacy, opened the session and, at the end, offered 10 recent strategies from around the world that might be of use in Colombia. Assisting in session organization was Wendy Tribaldos of Panama, a member of the WAN-IFRA World Young Reader Prize jury and committee.
This is not the first time Columbian teachers have served as a testing ground for a WAN-IFRA initiative that then went global.
Hundreds of them helped WAN-IFRA in 2007 in workshops to test use of the WAN-IFRA Reading & Learning guides for news in education. The guides -- in English and Spanish and with a diversity focus -- went on to be used more than a dozen countries.
In 2011, a "Teaching Freedom" workshop for 200 teachers, resulted in the poster at left, which was done using only newspapers, glue and felt-tip pens and is still used in WAN-IFRA materials.
The Cartagena session was co-organized by Andiarios, a WAN-IFRA Center of Youth Engagement Excellence, and El Universal.
The Round Table was part of the activities of the World News Publishing Congress, 12-14 June, which will include the World News Media Congress, the World Editors Forum and the World Advertising Forum.