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This is the place to read what people are saying about The Day, and the importance of news-based learning, in the media. We’ve given interviews in magazines, written features in newspapers and appeared on the television and radio, discussing the importance of current affairs to young people.
Miranda Green was asked to offer advice to the four party leaders after the dramatic results of the May local elections, alongside the paper’s comment editor, chief leader writer and opinion pollster.
Our editor Miranda Green shares a cosy sofa with UKIP's Nigel Farage to mull his party's spectacular showing in the 2013 local elections and South Shields by-election. Has British politics shifted permanently?
The film and discussion will be on iPlayer for 12 months.
On the night of the Eastleigh by-election, Miranda was asked by the BBC to make a short film about the allegations of sexual harassment in the Lib Dems, and to debate the issue of women in politics with John Prescott and Michael Portillo. It’s a controversial area, but Miranda argues that women (especially the young) mustn’t be deterred from working in politics, where their talents are needed. The film and discussion will be on iPlayer for 12 months.
In a broadcast to all parts of the world, Miranda discussed the week’s global events and issues with news presenter Julian Worricker and philosopher Mark Vernon. The Day’s perspective on the news is often different because we are thinking all the time about a story will affect young people, both in terms of its relevance but also whether they might find the news disturbing or confusing.
Alongside political reporters and columnists from The Guardian, Financial Times, The Telegraph and The Sunday Times, Miranda is an occasional member of the weekly programme’s panel of commentators. Sometimes laconic, often heated, the discussions at the beginning and end of the show are combined with constant tweeting by panellists under the #bbcsp hashtag as Andrew Neil conducts live interviews with prominent politicians.
Miranda is one of the regular presenters of this round-up of the week’s newspapers, scripting and delivering a 15-minute, light-hearted look at the wittiest headlines and most incisive (or explosive) news articles of the last seven days, with a team of BBC actors providing the voices of Fleet Street’s finest. The radio show was adapted from a famous Granada television programme, and it’s an honour for The Day to take part in such a mainstay of British journalism.
Sir, John Lloyd is right to highlight the risks to UK competitiveness when political and business leaders are unprepared for global challenges and their essential unpredictability (Business Life, December 24).
The university and business school courses he identifies are laudable, but can I assure him that, in terms of attempts to tackle this problem, there are even more “good deeds” being committed in this area?
Some of us are starting with a much younger age group. At The Day, we provide secondary schools and colleges daily with a range of classroom teaching materials based on analysis of stories in the news. We are now being used during tutor time and curriculum subject lessons in more than 600 schools and hope that this dose of regular morning debate about global issues, on an “apple a day” principle, will help equip an increasing number of pupils with awareness of international affairs (and UK politics).
Enlivening and informing tenagers! by Charis Furness
What will wake them up? What will grab their interest? How do I inspire discussion and facilitate genuine debate, effective collaboration, enthusiastic participation? I have surveyed the shelves in the English office with despair, sagging under the weight of under-used/never opened resources; I have perused the stimulus material in our textbooks with erratic success (besides, I could already hear the groans engendered by the mere sight of a text book). So here are a few ideas focused on these principles: make it current, make it relevant, make it good quality, make it multi-modal!
Richard Addis started The Day, an online newspaper for schools to combat ignorance of politics and the world amongst the young
‘Am I being unreasonable to think that teenagers should know something of the world?’ So reads the title of a recent 190-post thread on Mumsnet.
The horror stories flow thick and fast.
‘I was once guest lecturer at a film class… The 16-18 year olds had never heard of Charlie Chaplin.’
As pupils who shun print happily read words on a screen, Rosie Kinchen asks if it’s time to bin books and turn to paperless reading classes
At the City of London academy in Southwark, a class of 14-year-olds are discussing literacy. Reading out loud from an interactive whiteboard at the front of the classroom, Lola, one of the pupils, says: “In the UK, literacy rates are low and one in three children don’t own a book. Are we witnessing the end of reading?”
The statistics are real; a report released by the National Literacy Trust in December found that an estimated 4m children don’t own a book, while recent figures showed that one in six people in Britain now struggle with literacy.
Parents who discuss current affairs with their children give them a head start in reading, a new report says. Richard Addis visits a college taking the idea a step further
Years ago, in a restaurant near Poggibonsi, Italy, our host, a celebrated tycoon, leant forward amid a gaggle of glazed and etiolated teenagers, stabbed a muscular finger in my direction, and barked: “Right! Who can name the 12 countries of the EEC?”
It was one of the most dreadful moments of my youth. I had not been trained for this. I knew a little about Thucydides and a little about Harold Pinter but nothing about the European Economic Community. At school and at home, news was ranked alongside money and pornography as an improper subject for discussion.
Richard Addis asks when is the right time to introduce children to current affairs?
Of all the recent questions posed by my rapidly growing-up son – including ‘is God dead?’ and ‘why isn’t my half-sister’s mother my half-mother?’ – the most difficult to answer with any modicum of sense was about Osama bin Laden. If he was such an evil monster why did so many people admire and believe what he told them and continue to follow his teachings to this day?
Easy enough to say that all his thousands of followers were evil monsters too. But when you think about it, most evil monsters lose their power to persuade once they are in the grave. People like Hitler, Vlad the Impaler and Idi Amin were of very little importance once removed from power, let alone dead. Humanity can be duped, but not forever.
Richard Addis has probably the most extraordinary CV of any Fleet Street editor, past or present. Educated, conventionally enough at a prep school in Winchester and Rugby School, he went on to become a monk within an Anglican community in a picturesque abbey at Watchet on the Somerset coast before going on, in a grey habit and hood, to Downing College, Cambridge, where he read English. After discovering, halfway through Cambridge, that he did not after all have a vocation for the religious life, his first job was, bizarrely, as a fledgling gossip columnist on the Evening Standard's 'Londoners' Diary'. His friends marvelled at the apparent mismatch of this gentle, seemingly unworldly man pitchforked into the maelstrom of London celebrity and high society life. Addis, however, with the invaluable help of his hugely well-connected father, Ritty, an ex-colonial officer and by then a charmingly relentless charity fundraiser, unearthed a string of off-beat scoops for his new employers including such gems as Lord Avebury's decision to leave his mortal remains as dog-food for Battersea Dogs' Home and Prince Charles's attempts to enter the Royal Academy Summer Show under a pseudonym.
Miranda Green describes a way to help anxious teenagers navigate the news ‘storm’
This is an extraordinary moment for news. At the start of the year we watched Egypt's uprising and felt hope and fear in the balance as the 'Arab spring' began. Then Japan's triple disaster, marked by conflicting reports and daily increasing human misery, shocked and scared us. Now the UK is engaged in a military intervention in Libya against a dictator vowing martyrdom and reprisals.
Meanwhile there's a complicated political situation and an increasingly bitter debate about the economy and public services here in the UK, with plenty of voices raised on the side of doom and gloom.
Any anxiety about the state of the world that we adults are feeling is likely be multiplied several times over in young people: research shows teenagers find news incomprehensible and distressing in equal measure. Today's bombardment of constant updates online and on rolling broadcast news stations leaves them stressed, anxious and then repelled. They turn off or stop reading.
Children need reassurance about the terrible combination of events in the news at the moment. Miranda Green outlines one resource which is helping.
Every day brings more photographs of beautiful, smiling Norwegian teens, killed by a gunman while on their summer break. These days it has become impossible to avoid images of terrorist attack victims being helped through wreckage with bloody faces. While the tragedy in Norway is disturbing enough for adults, imagine what impact these news events have on children and teenagers.
This year has been an extraordinary year for news, with Japan's tsunami and nuclear disaster, revolutions across the Arab world and a background of economic turmoil at home and abroad. All of these have the potential to distress and confuse a child.
"There is a need to reassure children about the terrible combination of things that we're seeing at the moment," says Dr Nigel Richardson, former headmaster of the Perse School in Cambridge and an expert in pastoral care.
Current affairs can often link into many parts of the curriculum. National journalist Miranda Green, who has set up a news website for schools, explains
So far, 2011 has been an extraordinary year for news, both internationally and at home. We have witnessed Egypt, Libya and the rest of the Middle East rising up against its rulers. Japan’s disasters natural and manmade, a royal wedding, a historic referendum unsettling this experimental coalition government and the death of the world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden.
Even the most avid adult fan of current affairs is reeling - so how are young people taking it?
Richard Addis, 54, is a former editor of the Sunday Express and the Saturday edition of the Financial Times. He has launched www.theday.co.uk, an online newspaper for schools which links news stories to the national curriculum and encourages pupils to debate and engage with the wider world.
Why did you set up a newspaper for schools?
"I was just talking to the friends of my kids and discovered that there is very little for that age group in terms of explaining news. There is plenty of news they might like to learn about, but it doesn't really make sense unless they have got the background knowledge or something to relate it to."
As I know from living with a virtually full-time State schools campaigner, education arouses enormous passions and very strong views. So it shouldn't really come as a surprise that Jamie Oliver's Dream School idea has attracted so much publicity and debate.
Challenging kids plus 'celebs' plus stereotypes (some promoted, some challenged), plus a decent marketing budget makes for a fair telly mix, and the papers have been full of it. If I had known that the 'school photo' was going to appear in so many different papers – here it is again in today's Guardian as part of a piece in which teachers give their judgement on Episode One – I wouldn't have borrowed that stripey tie from headteacher John D'Abbro!
Tomorrow night, 9pm Channel 4, I make my debut, and already the programme's website has shown a couple of trailers here and here and a longer version of my first lesson here . There are plenty more clips of all the different lessons with all the teachers on Youtube. Episode One last week showed up – and this is inevitable given how many hours of footage they have – how editing means people will rarely get the whole story. If you only watched the programme as broadcast, you'd have thought Rolf Harris had been something of a disappointment. In fact on Youtube there is a very touching film of how he brought out a seeming real talent in Ronnie.
In a knowledge economy you need a well-informed workforce. In a services-led economy you need people who are equipped and ready to serve. But as the crisis of worker disengagement spreads around much of the world, managers are faced with a dilemma. Do people turn up to work "job ready"? What are the chances of them doing a decent day's work?
Pretty basic questions. Sadly, for some employees, by the time managers start investigating the gaps in their training and education it can be a little bit late. Rising unemployment numbers reflect the failure of education systems around the world to help prepare young people for the world around them.
Which is a long-winded way of introducing a superb new resource which has become available in the UK. Take a look at www.theday.co.uk This is a kind of on-line newspaper (and rolling news service) which takes complicated matters and explains them in clear terms, for school-age students. This new site already has an impressive depth to it, with video- and other links making it a rich source of material. The Day is designed for teachers who wish to enhance their lessons with authoritative commentary and added detail. (Today, with dramatic and fast-moving developments on the streets of Cairo, The Day has published an "Egypt special" - exactly the sort of thing that can keep young students engaged and informed.)