Prof. dr. Peter Nikken in De Volkskrant: Media literacy deserves more attention in education

During and after the American elections people were once again confronted with the fact that social media are not objective news media. Fake news, and even complete websites with false information emerged everywhere. Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant wonders what should happen to stop the increasing stream of gibberish on the internet. According to prof. dr. Peter Nikken, education has a very important role here.

More and more is being done to teach young people to be critical about the different media that surround them. For example, recently about 150,000 children between 10-12 years old played an interactive game in school for a week: Mediamasters. In the game children were introduced to different types of media. Another initiative is from the foundation "News in the Classroom" (Nieuws in de klas), which provides teaching materials to both primary and secondary schools about how to interpret the news.

The question is: is the current focus on media within secondary education sufficient? Prof. dr. Peter Nikken does not think so. “It is now very ad hoc,” he says in De Volkskrant. “The amount of attention schools pay to media literacy and information skills depends on the teachers, and the extent to which they find it a useful topic to spend time on."

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