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ABC Heywire Remote Media Literacy Project – MEDIA LITERACY


This year, the Remote Media Literacy Project expanded to give the country’s most remote students the opportunity to develop their skills, knowledge, and critical skills to become media literate citizens.

Grants received from the Judith Neilson Institute helped students and teachers in Outer Regional, Remote, and Very Remote participate in a specialized media literacy program conducted in person by ABC journalists.

Through a series of interactive workshops associated with the Australian curriculum, secondary school students learned to be critical of the media, to distinguish fact from fiction in the news, to reflect on personal media use, to be curious about how media is made, and to understand how media influence them and affect people and society.

Find out more about media literacy across Australia

The workshops were divided into News Basics, Fake News and Social Media and the News. The workshops were a product of consultation with various educators, moderators and journalists, trying to appreciate the students’ own media experience and equip them with tools to be critical consumers of it.

To further engage students in media literacy, ABC journalists have been trained to bring their knowledge and skills to the classroom and to involve students in content creation. Students were interviewed on the radio about their experiences in the project and crossed live with a student from the Christmas Island District High School. The student experiences were also shared on local ABC radio, with a highlight where Narrogin Senior High School students were interviewed live on the Great Southern Breakfast Show during an outdoor broadcast of the school.

ABC journalist Richard Hind presents students from the Tiwi Islands. Photo: Chris Lewis

A moderator shows a popular meme to a class of students.  Junior Young Men and Tiwi Numbers signs hang on the wall

ABC journalist Richard Hind presents students from the Tiwi Islands. Photo: Chris Lewis


ABC journalists traveled from Kojonup to Wyndham in WA and from the Tiwi Islands to Purnululu in the Northern Territory. A total of 93 media literacy workshops were held at these 16 schools and the Remote Media Literacy Project reached 1,129 students.

The journalist and moderator Tim Wong-See reflected on his experiences in teaching the workshops:

“Being part of the program was a great way to refresh myself on the important skills we use every day at ABC – what is fake news, what is reliable information, and why are we presenting to the audience – what value does it have for their day? It is easy for the untrained eye to miss the tiny details that people use in stories to convey as true information. “

The warm welcome from students and teachers demonstrated the need for media literacy training and opened up opportunities for a pilot program with students who had attended the workshops to improve their media literacy.

Media Competence Week News Champions

To this end, five students from Champion Bay in Geraldton, Western Australia, Yamatji Country, have attended four additional sessions to deepen their knowledge of media literacy and produce content to be used in their school publications and on local ABC stations during media literacy be week.

During Media Literacy Week, students from their local ABC network – Midwest and Wheatbelt – will work to record four podcast episodes as part of a series called “Question What You Hear”. In the episodes, students interview radio producers and presenters and ask questions about choosing and telling stories.

Laeh Vlatko, teacher at Champion Bay, pointed out the importance of the workshops for her students:

“In a world of fake news and clickbait headlines, it is so important that students develop their critical thinking skills. Learning to criticize and produce the media enables students to grow as news consumers and as news creators. As a HASS teacher, I want my students not only to develop their knowledge of the world, but also to explain where that knowledge comes from and how it is presented. ‘

The podcasts are student-for-student resources that encourage critical thinking and reflection on media consumption and production. Including Jan Fran, Will Anderson, Emergency Broadcast Coordinators and local radio hosts who answer questions about their craft and explain how they think critically in their own work.

From Ms. Vlatko’s point of view, the experience was important for her students:

“In the regional high school context, our students have benefited greatly from the opportunity to learn from experts. They loved the experience of connecting with stories outside of our city and taking them to a local level to see how they relate to our community. Students were particularly excited to use their interviewing skills in recording interviews with national ABC moderators. ‘

The episodes will be available on the ABC Education website at the end of the Media Literacy Week.


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