–/COMMUNITYWIRE/– Canadian journalist and educator Joyce Grant has been awarded a Global Youth & News Media Prize for her ground-breaking news/media literacy work serving children and teenagers.
“Joyce Grant is a force, and on multiple fronts,” said Dr. Aralynn McMane, executive director of the award. “She eases children into knowing what real and rigorous journalism really is and also provides solid guidance for teenagers to learn the same thing, with lessons about the dangers journalists face along the way.”
Grant, who is based in Hamilton, Ontario, is the owner of TeachingKidsNews.com (started in 2010), a creator of media literacy resources for the Toronto Star, author of six books including an illustrated non-fiction book for young people, Can You Believe It: How to Spot Fake News and Find the Facts (2022, illustrated by Kathleen Marcotte and published by Kids Can Press), and a sessional professor at Humber College and Sheridan College (Toronto).
“I do a lot of school visits and I always discover kids who want to become journalists,” Grant said. “It’s exciting to speak with them and to encourage them. I talk to them about how vital journalism is for a healthy democracy. How can you choose leaders and vote if you don’t know what those leaders stand for?
“With all the misinformation and misconceptions these days about what journalists do, the job tends to be tougher than ever. My focus is on helping kids understand how important accuracy is to journalists and how important the job is. I’m very hopeful about the next wave of young journalists as well as everyone who cares about facts and wants to learn how to think critically, like a journalist, about what they see and read online.”
She joins six other laureates—educators, news media organisations and educational NGOs—from Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines and the United States.
The awards were announced today [15 September] to coincide with the United Nations International Day for Democracy, which has “empowering the next generation” as its theme for 2023. This year’s News/Media Literacy category focused on two key elements for supporting democracy that the organizers see as missing in much of media literacy worldwide: the crucial role of journalism and the threats to too many people who do that job.
Global Youth & News Media, founded as a French nonprofit in 2018, focuses on recognizing and spreading excellent practice in the engagement of news media with the young and vice versa.