World Association of News Publishers

Denmark - engaging youth then and now

Denmark - engaging youth then and now

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Avisen i Undervisningen is in the third year of a redesigned national NIE campaign run by the merged media organization Danske Medier. The goal has been to give it a focus on digitial platforms for using news contentt

It seems that the teachers actually find it easier to produce news websites in class rather than teaching academically on the base of digital news platforms. In the evaluation survey there is an explicit demand for inspiration and knowing how to teach news from digital platforms.

So, in October 2015, we launched a web application for the basic newspaper design of school newspapers. Avislayouteren it is called. Teachers and students of all grades can log in with their state-issued credentials also used for their tests and daily digital learning tools. For free they can produce as many tabloid sized newspapers as they like and generate a printer friendly PDF file. The students choose from three digital professionally designed newspapers. To see the site in English, do a search on "Avislayouteren" and then ask for the site to be translated.

Read more below about that evolution.


Denmark has the second longest continuing national Newspapers in Education (NIE) programme in the world, just after the United States. The country’s venture into using newspapers –and later all types of media – in the classroom informally started just after the end of World War II. In 1962, NIE activities were formally launched and again in 1981, it was reshaped under the Danish Newspapers Organization (now the Association of Danish Media).

Since 1981, NIE activities have consisted of courses for teachers, publishing textbooks about journalism and guides in media literacy, the publication of a media literacy magazine along with ad hoc initiatives and campaigns that over time has been crystallised into a major national contest among school classes.

For more than two decades, the association’s signature event has been its contest involving the majority of schools for one week during October or November. The participating school classes produce a printed tabloid. Many teachers have automatically included this activity in their curriculum and around 25,000 pupils from 13 to 17 years of age take part annually in that competition.

Each class divide the roles of an editorial newsrooms – to work as journalists, photographers or designers - and their newspaper’s content is about a topic that the association choses. Class work is then submitted to a news publisher of their choice who then nominates the best entries to send on for the final selection of national winners in two age categories.


In the autumn of 2014, the national NIE campaign run by the merged media organization Danske Medier, was fully redesigned to be executed with a digital focus (after testing the idea the previous year):

· The name of the campaign was changed from Write for the Newspaper to The News Week.

· In four weeks, schools are now offered free access to all digital e-papers and paid news sites. Twenty-eight dailies agreed on a single sign-on solution provided by The Ministery of Education and that carried out technically by the media intelligence provider InfoMedia. (Three additional dailies had separate sign-ins.)

A total of 40.000 students aged 12 to 19 participated in the overall 2014 campaign, which is a decline from former times. A survey among the participating teachers shows that a massive national school reform was the reason.

The survey also showed great satisfaction with the contest but a distinct desire to get the printed papers back in the classroom. A few local and regional dailies offered this option.

. In addition, classes participating in the annual contest of producing the best newspaper were invited to produce a website as well as a print edition. The two winning classes are granted a prize of 25,000 Danish kroner awarded to them at a festive ceremony at Copenhagen's town hall and hosted by the chairman of the judges’ committee. Each year, Danish celebrities help market the competition and announce the year’s theme. Students use formats of existing titles for the print editions, such as Politiken and Ekstra Bladet, pictured above.

·      The homepage and free online handbook for schools was redesigned and saw its name changed from Newspaper Net to The Media Handbook (

Denmark’s national union of teachers has been producing exercises for the “free media handbook” as well as course material for teachers on media literacy. In 2014, teachers signed up 15,000 students to benefit from this offer.




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2014-09-30 16:17

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