The Finnish Newspapers Association has been honoured by the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) for its 50 years of introducing youth to news and teachers to how to use that news in the classroom. The association was designated by WAN-IFRA as a “Center of Youth Engagement Excellence”.
The “Center of Youth Engagement Excellence” designation honors newspaper associations that have a deep, long-term commitment and devote resources to news literacy and youth engagement, and the Finnish association has been at the forefront of this work.
The Finnish Newspapers Association received the designation for its Newspapers in Education programme, which began in 1964 with a nationwide programme that taught teachers how to use print editions as supplemental texts in all kinds of classes, from language to history and even mathematics. It has been instrumental in helping shape the country’s media literacy curriculum while championing freedom of speech and reading itself. Most recently, it attracted one in every five of the country’s 15-year-olds to a national critical writing contest.
“The biggest winner is Finnish society, which benefits from competent and informed citizens who learn to use media content that helps them achieve success in life,” said Jukka Holmberg, Executive Director of the Finnish Newspapers Association. “With the help of newspapers, we can vividly show the importance of press freedom for true democracy.”
The induction took place during a ceremony held in Helsinki on Thursday as part of the 50th anniversary celebration of Finnish NIE?.
Only two countries have continuously been doing this work for longer than Finland: the United States (starting in 1961) and Denmark (1962), and Finland was among the first to contribute to the global work of news in the class, starting in 1991 when then NIE manager Piro-Riitta Puro helped found WAN-IFRA’s own international committee for this work.