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Hanna Visala
Yilin Lee-Setälä


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

The Satakieli News

Marker Helsinki, Finland
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.

What is it all about?

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

- Hanna Visala, YLE

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”).

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Intended Outcomes
13 - 16
Age Group
Resources Needed
Cooperation with the local media.
HundrED Criteria
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.

See this innovation in action.


Inspired to implement this? Here's how...

Assembling the team
Contact teachers, media experts and students to form the team.
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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.
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Furthering and polishing the plan
If necessary, arrange a second meeting after everyone has gained more perspective and ideas for their area of responsibility.
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First team meeting: Breaking the ice
Approximately two hours.
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Second team meeting: Brainstorming
Approximately 3–4 hours.
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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.
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Connect with the innovator

Hanna Visala
Yilin Lee-Setälä
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