Angelina Jolie has spent her adult life on humanitarian efforts and being a parent over being a Hollywood darling, which has continued with her teaming up with BBC to executive produce BBC My World to help children learn to think critically and identify fake news.
The program, according to Variety, will explain the stories that are happening in the news and provide facts, which will help teenagers make up their own minds about what is going on in the world around them. It’s noted that the BBC will retain final editorial approval of content in the series, which is a little bit of an issue, but at least it’s public broadcasting.
In a prepared statement, Jolie said the following:
As a parent I am happy to be able to give my support to a program that aims to help children learn more about the lives of other young people around the world, and connect to them to each other. I hope it will help children find the information and tools they need to make a difference on the issues that matter to them, drawing on the BBC World Service’s network of thousands of journalists and multiple language services around the world.
Putting that Disney money to good use.
The director of BBC World Service Group, Jamie Angus, says that this series is “crucial” for a lot of young people because they have so much access to technology and need the tools the navigate the world, making smart decisions.
There’s a gap in provision for young people who want to understand how the news is made and the values that stand behind it. They need the tools to distinguish the real from the false online, and the skills to think critically about information, wherever they encounter it. Nurturing these abilities is the aim of My World, and they’re crucial for today’s young people, not just for personal development but the future health of global democracy. The BBC World Service is uniquely placed to provide a truly global perspective on the biggest stories and themes of the day.
We know that Radzi Chinyanganya, who is a presenter for BBC Sport, and will have an episode that deals with video manipulation and “deepfaked” videos. There will also be an episode about the Amazon rainforest and how it is being impacted by farming and logging, and whether it can survive everything that is being done to it.
I think this is a great idea, and while it probably isn’t the best thing for a news organization to have the final say in this project, I do think that by being aired on the BBC, it will have a larger audience than if it were done somewhere else. All of us need to be better informed and better about understanding how to research, and starting to develop that skill at a young age is one of the most important things we can do.
So, thank you, Maleficent, for helping to keep young people informed. Now … please bring this to America.
(via Variety, image: Christopher Polk/Getty Images for The Critics’ Choice Awards)
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