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BBC launches ‘fake news’ game for young people that puts them at ‘heart of newsroom’ amid a breaking news story

By Arun Kakar

The BBC has launched an interactive game to help young people in the UK identify fake news as part of its broader project to tackle declining media trust.

Developed by Wallace and Gromit producers Aardman Studios, BBC iReporter gives players the chance to experience being a BBC journalist in the “heart of the newsroom”.

The game puts players in the midst of a breaking news story. They will be tasked with navigating through the story by making choices affecting the metrics of accuracy, impact and speed to avoid fake news pitfalls.

The game’s launch coincides with events taking place across the UK as part of BBC School Report Day.

More than 100 BBC journalists, including Nikki Fox, Huw Edwards and Amol Rajan, will deliver workshops in schools and a “roadshow” will take place across the country.

Events around the UK include school workshops in the North of England to enhance “digital and journalistic skills” and Northern Irish pupils taking part in activities such as presenting the weather at Studio 1.

The BBC School Report national programme aims to help 11-18 year olds develop fake and false stories by developing critical thinking and media literacy skills.

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In addition, the corporation also announced its aim to be a global leader in the fight against fake news, which it claims is creating a “huge decline in global audiences’ trust in news overall”.

The BBC World Services will also place a “major focus” on global media, literacy which will culminate in a live broadcast bringing young people together in a discussion about how to restore trust in media.

BBC news director Fran Unsworth said: “The BBC has already been doing a lot to tackle the scourge of fake news – whether through Reality Check fact-checking claims and coming to a judgement, our journalists going into schools to educate youngsters or this brilliant game we’re launching in the UK today.

“But this is a global problem. It’s vital people have access to news they can trust – and know how to distinguish between fact and fiction. Broadcasters and the rest of the news industry have a responsibility to tackle fake news, and I want to use the BBC’s global reach to lead the way.”

Picture: BBC/Screenshot

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