First News for Schools - First News is the UK's only newspaper for young people and a highly engaging literacy resource for schools. A range of school packages are available, including our new Literacy iHub, a digital literacy tool for 7-14 year olds.

Critical Literacy and Fake News

Helping children to understand how reliable sources of news are put together is the first step in developing their critical literacy skills

Making Editorial Choices

With the rise of fake news and other types of misinformation, it is vital that children recognise reliable sources of news, question the news and understand the choices made by editorial teams in deciding the headlines. This will begin to equip them with the essential critical literacy skills needed to navigate the news in the modern world.

Each Monday at First News, the editorial team meet to discuss what news stories will be included in that week’s edition of First News. The editor and journalists put forward and discuss stories. They decide what will feature in the week’s newspaper and in which section these stories should go. The team doesn’t always agree and there is much discussion and debate! The choices First News make are based on the following:

  • The content of the stories: which stories do they think are most important for their readers to know about
  • The audience: which stories do they think will be of most interest to the readers

The editor has the final say.

Each week with your pupils, as well as discussing the news stories, debate the decisions made by First News’ editorial team. Do pupils agree with the editor’s choice of front page story? If they were editor would they have chosen a different front cover to lead the edition of First News?

Making Sense of the News: real news, fake news and everything in between

First News investigates news in this 28-page special edition, giving young people a fascinating insight into the history of news reporting, the media today and the important links between a free press and democracy. It supports the teaching of critical literacy, explaining how to fact check articles, identify bias and assess the reliability of sources.

Request a free digital copy of ‘Making Sense of the News: real news, fake news and everything in between’