The BBC is launching a scheme to help young people in Britain identify what they consider to be ‘fake news’.
The project will target up to 1,000 secondary schools and sixth forms across the UK, with students being taught how to identify real news and filter out fake or false information both in class and online.
The Telegraph reports: The initiative has been designed to tackle false information that the corporation says “threatens fact-based public debate and trust in journalism.”
Details of the scheme, which will involve up to 1,000 schools, will be outlined in the BBC’s annual plan on Wednesday.
It will includes BBC journalists such as Huw Edwards, Tina Daheley, Nikki Fox, Kamal Ahmed and Amol Rajan.
The details come after Ofcom, the communications regulator, warned that children were being increasingly exposed to fake news, with nearly half of 12 to 15-year-olds finding it difficult to tell fact from fiction on social media.
The annual plan, which sets out priorities for the year ahead, will also focus on the BBC’s role in society and the ways it could be used to unite politically estranged communities.
“When the country is increasingly being portrayed as fragmented and divided, the BBC will maximize opportunities to bring the country together,” it said.
“This is important at a time when the UK is seeking to redefine its relationship with the world.”
The plan will outline ways in which the BBC plans to invest in new content, with commissions “that no other broadcaster would make”.
It also intends to improve iPlayer, admitting that it need to provide a more personalised service for subscribers with more content and “reinvent” itself for a new generation.
But the BBC said it faced continued financial challenges, highlighting the frozen licence fee and noting that investment in British content across the television industry was falling.
Another area of focus believed to be in the plan involves maximising the BBC’s global reach, with “BBC World Service undergoing its biggest expansion since the 1940s”.
A BBC source said: “The BBC can and will do more for Britain at an important time. Our aim will be to bring the public together while challenging fake news and false facts.