Submission from the Press Council of Ireland to the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment

Wednesday, 16th December 2009
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Press Council said today (Monday 28th December) that the proposed new curriculum on “Politics and Society” being prepared by the National Council for Curriculum and Assessment should include a new emphasis on the power of the press, the accountability of the press, and on new media.

Students, the Press Council submission states, should be able to analyse the ways in which media operate in a democracy, in the context of traditional ideas about press freedom and the social responsibility of the press.

They should also, it says, “be able to identify the strengths and weakness of various forms of media accountability, and identify relevant examples of media accountability in action.”

“They should be able to compare the social effects of old and new media, identify the special characteristics of new media, and describe the challenges – for regulators and others – posed by the new media.”

The Press Council’s submission to the NCCA says that in this way students should be helped to achieve some of the objectives of the new curriculum, including especially the development of “a commitment to, and a capacity for critical, discursive and independent thinking”, and the skills of creative thinking and information processing.

The full text of the submission follows.