Experts to host key talks on securing UK’s news literacy education

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The core objectives of the Public-Interest News Literacy Education project

Experts are set to meet in Preston to discuss necessary policy changes to secure the future of public-interest news literacy education in the UK.

The gathering will take place at the University of Central Lancashire’s Media Innovation Studio, drawing a broad spectrum of stakeholders from regulatory actors like Ofcom and IMPRESS, to news industry organisations, such as the Public Interest News Foundation (PINF) and the Independent Community News Network (ICNN), alongside educators, scholars, and civil society groups.

Dr François Nel, a Reader in Media Innovation and Entrepreneurship, and postdoctoral researcher Dr Kamila Rymajdo will lead the Chatham House Rule discussion. They are collaborating with Frances Yeoman of Liverpool John Moores University and Prof Simeon Yates of the University of Liverpool.

Dr Nel emphasised the interconnected nature of public-interest news provision and literacy education, noting: “These are closely linked – both are crucial, yet we lack a unified vision and coordinated efforts among various industry and societal players.”

He added: “Our primary aim is to craft a policy brief that will guide the agenda for the next government, particularly in anticipation of a general election in late autumn.”
Supported by a Quality Research grant from Research England and a grant from the Google News Initiative, the activity builds on findings from the News Futures 2035 project, which underscored the pressing need for improved news literacy education.

The workshop, structured as a foresight study, will explore different future scenarios, develop new visions, and aim to foster improved collaborations, centred around the key question: How can the UK ensure the ongoing provision of public-interest news literacy education over the next decade? The sessions will be facilitated by Alain Wouters, known for his expertise in multi-stakeholder processes and strategic consulting, previously with Shell’s group planning department.

Scheduled for 1 to 2 May 2024, the workshop will identify desired outcomes and potential pitfalls in the future of news literacy eduction, culminating in a set of recommendations for policymakers and other stakeholders. 

Participants interested in contributing to the discussion or staying informed about the outcomes are encouraged to complete this expression of interest form, which is available through the University of Central Lancashire’s Media Innovation Studio website. Please direct questions or recommendations to the team at newsfutures@uclan.ac.uk.