How do we turn young teens into followers of critical news?

Come up with ideas yourself

Adults should not be mistaken in thinking that they can teach young people this. “We really have to do it with them,” she says, “we just can’t think of it.” And so in her research she allowed children between the ages of 12 and 15 to come up with their own ideas.

And they came, those ideas. For example, young people came up with the idea of ​​going to a play and then covering the whole process from performance to news article. What choices do you have to make? Do you want to inform, entertain or disinform? They wrote articles in pairs, evaluating each other’s sequels.

It goes well, and they actually become media literate. At least: possibly. Because whether they actually applied this media education depends mainly on their social environment. If their parents, and especially their friends, think it’s important, they apply their knowledge. But if their friends don’t think it matters — which they often do — their media expertise is nowhere to be seen.


As a parent, you can partly get around this, for example by asking at the dinner table what they have seen and whether they consider it reliable. Additionally, Tamboer also sees a role for influencers, who show on TikTok or other social media that not all news is always reliable — and how you can learn about that.

Think, for example, of someone like Marieke Kuypers, who posts fact checks on TikTok. “I think this can work well, because young people can be found on TikTok. It’s short films, which makes it very easy to see if something is true or not, and how it works.”

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Megan Vasquez

"Creator. Coffee buff. Internet lover. Organizer. Pop culture geek. Tv fan. Proud foodaholic."

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