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In Slovenia, children are taught reporting then learn about trust.

30 June 2024 • Global Youth & News Media


A 3-month program to teach 34 students ages 11 to 15 about doing journalism has paid off in students’ trust levels, pre-and post-tests show. 


Admittedly, there was already a good base for the activity organized by the Slovenian children’s news outlet Časoris* as part of a multi-country project by Europe’s Community Youth Journalism Initiative (JoCoJoIn).

A pre-program survey of 25 of the 34 participants found 9 of them (36%) choosing Časoris as a trusted news medium before the activity (in the lead and on a par with a popular television program).


But the results remain headline-worthy:  Among the 23 who replied in a post-activity poll, nearly all (21 or a whopping 91%) agreed that they now trusted “children's media, such as Časoris, more than other media.” 


Even the  argument of a positive  bias because children chose to be there doesn’t explain such a positive result.


Respondents were asked to explain their answers. What they wrote offers insights into the program’s strongest elements:

-because I got to know how the editorial board works

- because I see that they need many members to make a contribution

- because I know that I can trust the information, 

- because I got to know Časoris better, 

- because I met one of the Časoris journalists and now I know that I can trust this website.

- Even my mother said that this is a reliable site, which is intended for us young people,

- because I got to know the work that journalists do, 

- I think that I trust all the media equally, but I use the Časoris website more, 

- I know that these are real data, because I saw how many experts we had to ask,

- because I know that journalists try to get the right ones answers, 

- because I know that it is a safe and reliable online newspaper, I know that Časoris is never fake, I know that Časoris and other media for children tell the truth, 

- that the information is true and verified, 

- it is written in a way that children can understand. And I like that. On the other hand, in the media (e.g. 24 hours, radio news...) they use different terms that I may not know, and that's why I often ask my parents if I understood correctly. But I know that Časoris is one of those media that I can trust 100%, 

- because I know that the articles are true, 

- because I know how they work and how they get information.


What did they do?

In early 2024, Časoris launched the project’s first three-month mentoring program for young journalists at five schools.


The activity is part of a 2-year YoCoJoIn (Youth Community Journalism Initiative) project from the Media Diversity Institute (Global and Western Balkans) in which partners will offer such training to 210 youth (mainly teenagers) also in the Netherlands, Malta, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium and Serbia.

 It is funded by the EU as one of the Creative Europe cross-border journalism projects that are part of the NEWS initiative in the Commission’s Media and Audiovisual Action Plan to strengthen the wider news media sector. 

In the program, students receive training with experienced journalists and then do stories for partner news outlets. 

“Thirty-four Slovenian children dove into the world of journalism and excelled,” said the Časoris coordinator, Saša Petejan. “They honed their skills, learned to follow trustworthy sources like Časoris, and developed a keen sense of curiosity.”


Participants emulated the work of a professional editorial office, including keeping the needs of the audience in mind. They asked themselves what their peers would like to know and what they should know, leading to the publication of 13 articles. Topics included an analysis of school punishments.

How this kind of activity supports both media literacy and journalism.

* Časoris is also a founding member of Children’s News Europe.

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