With the aim of tackling the issue of fake news, the CJF and CIVIX will work together to provide over 1.5 million school-aged Canadians (ages 9-19) a deeper understanding of the role journalism plays in democracy.
“Fake news accelerates distrust in our institutions, including distrust of the trained media who spend so much time trying to hold the powerful to account,” says David Walmsley, chair of the CJF and editor of The Globe and Mail.
“If we’re going to foster trust in journalism, we need to reach the next generation of news consumers and ensure they understand the role journalism plays in our society. This initiative provides an arena to engage a younger audience and to ensure they’re equipped with the skills to identify reliable sources of information.”
NewsWise will be developed by CIVIX, the organization behind Student Vote, and CJF’s network of academics and journalists. The program will be a part of the Student Vote activities, rolling out to coincide with the Ontario provincial election in 2018, and other upcoming local and provincial elections, culminating nationally with the 2019 federal election.
“Access to reliable news sources is critical to fully engaging in the democratic process,” says Taylor Gunn, President and CEO of CIVIX. “Giving young Canadians an understanding of the role journalism plays in our society and the knowhow to find and filter information is essential in nurturing an informed citizenry for the long term.”
The Student Vote program reaches 7,500 schools in the country, representing 98 per cent of Canadian school boards. Showcasing the role journalism plays in a healthy democracy, the program will provide Canadian students with the tools and knowledge to find and filter accurate information online. CJF will engage Canada’s journalism community in supporting the delivery of the program.