| ANNIE |
A community to explore what's essential in
news & information
With social media and a 24/7 news cycle, how do we make sense of what we hear and read?
At a time when everyone can publish or broadcast news to a mass audience, it is essential for all of us to understand the ecology of information flow and the basic elements of journalism.
Rethinking teaching and learning
A constant stream of fraudulent news stories in our daily media diet has given rise to troubling cultural trends and political movements in recent years across the world.
False statements, misleading factoids, exaggerations, propaganda, hoaxes, hateful rumours with unsubstantiated claims, questionable advertising, radical extremism, and other types of fallacious content, often called misinformation and disinformation, are now being masqueraded as news.
In today’s digital world, all of us must understand the complexity created by information overload. We need to learn how to navigate through the abundance of content actively, and effectively, in order to critically analyse media messages while identifying the factors affecting our perceptions — from culture to psychology to computer algorithms.
At Asian Network of News & Information Educators, or ANNIE for short, we strive to develop teaching and learning materials to discuss news and journalism through inquiry-based, hands-on instructions.
Together we would like to rethink what news and information education should look like in the digital age.
Going beyond fact-checking
Teaching fact-checking tools and techniques is an important part of our overall teaching, but in reality, the proportion of misinformation among all the media content people consume every day is relatively small.
Many of us spend a lot more time going through personal messages, entertainment content, and other types of information that are simply not fact-checkable or cannot be evaluated by their factualness.
As educators, we need to go beyond fact-checking.
We take cues from the ideas in the field of civic education, media literacy, political science, communication, epistemology, cultural studies, sociology, and other relevant areas — anything that might help our learners become more discerning.
We cover a wide range of subjects such as computer science, statistics, digital forensics, cognitive psychology, marketing, politics, and, of course, media and journalism studies, among others.
The name Asian Network of News & Information Educators is new, but we have been around since 2012. ANNIE is a renewed effort of the initiative that was first launched in 2012 at the Journalism & Media Studies Centre at the University of Hong Kong.
We began our international collaboration in many Asian countries in the following year.
Our goal then was to develop pedagogical methods and teaching materials suitable for the media landscape, political economy, and socio-cultural environment in different countries.
Adding the elements of digital news consumption and social media to traditional news education was another endeavour.
Since then, we have been organising workshops and seminars to exchange ideas with like-minded educators, journalists, civil society organisations, and students in the region for more than a decade.
Thanks to the network’s collaborative efforts, our modularised curricula have been received well (but of course, we are always striving to add new ideas while improving existing materials).
We helped develop textbooks, produce instructional videos, and set up awareness campaigns across Asia.
We don’t have specific target age groups. Or put it in another way, we target everyone. Yes, news and information education instructions can be developed even for kindergarteners.
Our guiding principles