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The Satakieli News

A framework for media education bringing special-needs children and non-disabled students together to create news items

The innovation allows students to create media content and work in an inclusive environment with special-needs students as well as their non-disabled peers. Young people create news stories about topics they are interested in. They learn to have a voice in the media and society through these news items they create and publish as a team.

Finland 100


HundrED has selected this innovation to

Finland 100






March 2017
Media education should be provided to all students – the need for media literacy has never been more urgent.

About the innovation

What is it all about?

Today, anyone can produce content and share it online. Media literacy is therefore an essential life skill – children and young people must have the tools necessary to access and analyze media in its different forms.

Media literacy education provides children with the tools to understand whether an article is based on an opinion or facts. They also learn to recognize pieces that try to influence their opinions and choices.

Everyone should have the opportunity to become media literate. Freedom of movement knocks down borders not only geographically but also socially. You must be able to work with all kinds of people in a respectful manner. Inclusive teaching strategies support this.

Providing students with an opportunity to produce media content teaches them about how the media works. They learn how media texts are produced and what types of choices and opinions color the end-product.

News in a Hundred Languages combines elements of hands-on learning, inclusive teaching strategies, international cooperation and media education. The innovation brings together special-needs students with their non-disabled peers to create news items. They also learn media literacy skills working on news pieces that interest them. Students are given a voice in an inclusive group. They also learn to value everybody and work together.

The activities are conducted during workshops. The workshop days are set alternatively in the special education classroom, general education class or the partnering media organizations' locations. The students also work on the media tasks during their regular classes.

A central goal for the innovation is to reach young people around the world. Additionally disabled people are connected globally through self-produced media texts. News in a Hundred Languages can be conducted simultaneously in several countries. This allows young people to practice their language skills and share their creations. Special-needs instructors and media professionals instruct the students throughout the project.

News in a Hundred Languages is based on the Satakieli model created by Yilin Lee-Setälä. The Taiwanese journalist provided a platform for disabled youths, adults and elderly to share their experiences of the world and society on the air. News in a Hundred Languages builds on the model by combining media education and cooperation between various young people. The Finnish media partner is The Finnish Broadcasting Company YLE's “Yle Uutisluokka” (“YLE News class”).

Impact & scalability

Impact & Scalability


The innovation provides a framework of inclusive media education incorporating multiprofessional cooperation and hands-on learning.


Students learn to work with different types of learners on topics that interest them.


The framework requires a partnering media outlet. They can provide all the equipment so no big purchases are necessary.


Implementation steps

Assembling the team
Contact teachers, media experts and students to form the team.The project requires:

  • A junior high school class and their teacher

  • A special education class and their instructor

  • A media partner

Appoint contact persons from all the partners and exchange contact information. Agree on the methods and timing of communication.

Case Finland:

News in a Hundred Languages team included a class from Meilahti comprehensive school (20 students and the teacher), a special education class from Lyhty learning unit Lamppu (6 students and the instructor) as well as two media partners: Radio Valo aimed for people with disabilities and Yle Uutisluokka (3–6 people).

Planning meeting
Meet with the contact people to plan the project in more detail. At the meeting you should agree on the execution of the different areas of the project.

At the meeting, you should set the goals, timetable, content, responsibilities, assignments, workshop program as well as the equipment and publication of the project.


  • What are the goals for the project?

  • What type of learning goals are set for the project?


  • How many meetings must precede the workshops, and how should they be structured and where should they be held?

  • How many workshop sessions should there be?

  • How long should these sessions be?

  • How close together should the sessions be held?


  • What type of media texts will be produced and how long should they be?

  • What medium should the content be on?


Who is responsible for:

  • Materials and methods used in the workshop

  • Booking facilities

  • Obtaining filming permits

  • Planning the teaching

  • Editing and producing the media texts


  • What type of roles are assigned during the planning, teaching and editing processes?

  • What is the role of special-needs tutors?

Workshop program

  • What type of teams should be formed?

  • How should the students form into teams?

  • Who are the instructors?

Equipment and publication

  • What equipment is used and how are they obtained?

  • Where and when are the final products published?

Case Finland:

At the first meeting, we agreed on who should coordinate with the school as well as the dates and contents of the team meetings. Yle Uutisluokka was responsible for video production and Radio Valo for radio production.

Students agreed to meet at every partner's location: twice at the Meilahti comprehensive school, once at YLE and once at Radio Valo.

A disabled tutor with prior experience in radio work helped with grouping and uniting the team.

Furthering and polishing the plan
If necessary, arrange a second meeting after everyone has gained more perspective and ideas for their area of responsibility.

The goal for this meeting is to provide an opportunity to share thoughts and ideas, ask for help and suggestions. That is, to create concrete plans out of scattered thoughts. You should also conclusively agree on the structure of the meetings and who is responsible for what. Try to agree on dates and other practical arrangements as far into the future as possible.

You can also arrange this meeting via phone, online platforms or email.

First team meeting: Breaking the ice
Approximately two hours.Goals and getting to know everyone

The central goal for the first team meeting is to get to know each other. You should prepare some joint activities relating to the media and different media environments.

The workshop supervisors present

  • the big picture,

  • the activities,

  • the timetable and

  • the goals for the project.


Young people should introduce themselves and describe their relationship with the media. You should prepare some questions to facilitate this. You don't have to be overly formal and you can chat freely about potential news topics that interest the youngsters.

After the team session, the contact persons should have a short meeting discussing the session, how the project should proceed and if everything is going according to the plan.

Case Finland:

The first meeting lasted about two hours and was held in October at YLE. The team took a tour of the tv studios and the costume department. The team members got to know each other during the tour and at the end the supervisors lead an ice breaker to create team spirit.

People brainstormed already in the first meeting. The supervisors suggested that the students bring their ideas to the next meeting.

Second team meeting: Brainstorming
Approximately 3–4 hours.Small-group work

Divide the students into small groups. You should make sure that every team is even and not just a group formed around a single disabled student.

Brainstorming news stories

Agree with the groups what type of content they will produce and what medium they will use. Each team will determine their subject together with the media partners.

You should make sure that the special-needs students keep up with the brainstorming and understand everything.

At the end of the session you can assign homework connecting with the team's choice of topic and medium (such as “Write down interview questions for the media workshop.”)

The contact persons should stay behind after this session, too, and make sure everything is in order for the next meeting: the media workshop.

The teachers can discuss in class the news topics or media education in general between the team meetings.

Case Finland:

The second team meeting, the brainstorming session, was held in November at Meilahti comprehensive school.

In the beginning of the session the students were divided in two. Half worked with YLE Uutisluokka on video news and half with Radio Valo on radio news.

The video team watched YLE and YLE Uutisluokka online videos for inspiration. Then the team was divided into smaller groups for topic brainstorming.

The video team and the instructors came up with the topic of emojis and their use. The topic interested the students because emojis make up such a big part of their communications. Emojis are also a great topic particularly for News in a Hundred Languages because characters with big smiles or a red heart cross language and culture barriers. For the production stage, the team was divided further into three small groups each with different responsibilities (see step 7).

Snapchat and Instagram were like water to a fish to the students from Meilahti, however, the special-needs students didn't even know them by name. In these situations, the special-needs instructors were invaluable mediators.

The supervisors assigned the video team homework. They were asked to think about famous people they wanted to interview about emojis and create interview questions. The teacher emailed their finished assignments to a media partner who interviewed the suggested people they were able to contact. The partner brought these interviews to the media workshop.

Preparing for the workshop
The media partners should prepare for the media workshop day by handing out homework, handling the practical arrangements and sharing the responsibilities.

You should arrange any interviews and locations, book facilities, conduct research and acquire equipment. Depending on their skill-level and the general timetable, the students can make some of these arrangements, mainly set up interviews and conduct research.

The instructors should ensure that every student has a role during the workshop and organize who does what and when. It is important that every special-needs student can work on tasks that are appropriate and interests them.

Case Finland:

The instructors printed the script team information on emojis for the media workshop. The team gathered the most relevant info, and wrote a script and narration based on it.

Third team meeting: media workshop
During the media workshop the students work on media content under the supervision of media professionals. You should reserve six hours for the workshop.

You should start the day with a team building exercise or a moment together. You can then work in the assigned groups.

The small groups should practice their assigned roles. For example, get to know the equipment or refine the interview questions. Instruct the students to execute their plans after practicing enough and you can assist them if necessary.

Collect the material filmed and produced at the end of the day. You can start the editing process with the students already during the workshop, if possible. The media professionals should edit and perfect the pieces directly after the workshops.

Make sure that there are enough supervisors at the workshop, both special-needs instructors and media professionals.

Case Finland:

The media workshop was held at Radio Valo, one of the media partners.

The video team was divided into three groups, each with a different responsibility. Teamwork was crucial in the success of the project.

One group was responsible for the script as well as the voice over and narration. The video explores where emojis originate from, what's the most popular emoji in Finland and what emojis the celebrities interviewed like to use. The team learnt about script writing, public speaking, narrating as well as finding and summing up the most interesting and important aspects.

Another group was responsible for the illustrations on the video. Their drawings were transformed into stop motion animation. The team learnt film illustration, drawing, filming and editing.

The third group focused on polling people on the street. The team interviewed passers-by about the emojis they were presented. The team learnt interview skills, drawing, filming, lighting and editing.

At the end of the day, every student got the opportunity to draw emojis for the closing shot.

The students worked well together in an excited and warm atmosphere. All the responsibilities were completed and the director of Yle Uutisluokka edited the final product.

Editing the news stories for publication
The media professionals should finalize the pieces for publication and share them on the platforms agreed upon.

Case Finland:

The video team was able to create and gather all the material planned (illustrations, the script, filming and writing the narration, interviewing people on the street). They also had time to edit the video, however, the media professionals finished the edit and published the video on YLE Areena, an online platform for YLE.

Fourth team meeting: Viewing
The whole team behind News in a Hundred Languages gathers in the last meeting to see, hear and experience the pieces made and the final products. You should reserve about two hours for the meeting.

Listen and watch the final pieces. Everyone should give feedback on the project and discuss their experiences.

Case Finland:

The fourth and final group meeting was held a couple of months after the workshop.

The students gathered to listen and watch their finished news pieces together with the instructors. The Meilahti class also video conferenced the Taiwan sister project group. In Taiwan the News in a Hundred Languages team had produced two 30-minute radio programs and the Finnish students got to listen to snippets of them.

Yilin Lee-Setälä, the founder of News in a Hundred Languages, interpreted questions from the Taiwanese and Finnish students to each other. The Taiwanese students asked how the Finnish group chose to interview Saara Aalto on the radio and how they recorded their soundscape. They also sang a song that was included in a News in a Hundred Languages show and showed their favorite emojis on their smart devices.

At the end, the students gave feedback on their teamwork and the whole project. According to the feedback the project was a success. The students enjoyed getting to know and working with new people. They reported that topic choices and creating questions was challenging. The students didn't have any issues working with new people.

International collaboration
If you want to integrate international cooperation to your News in a Hundred Languages project, contact your local media outlets already in the planning phase (see step 2.)

Appoint a contact person for the cooperation. The person should communicate regularly with the international team about the projects and arrange virtual meeting dates. Explore all the possibilities for cooperation social media provides.

If you organize the project simultaneously in two countries, special-needs and non-disabled youths get the chance to meet, communicate and work together while they practice their language skills.

Every country has their own customs. Note that local media practices and school systems may differ from yours. For example, booking facilities and paying rent or obtaining the permits for after-school activities may take time due to a different type of system and organizational model. You should discuss and research these aspects as soon as you start considering international cooperation and creating a timetable.

Case Finland:

The News in a Hundred Languages project in Finland cooperated with a student group in Taiwan working on a similar project. The contact person and interpreter was Yilin Lee-Setälä, the creator of the Satakieli model.

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