The French association ARPEJ (Association RĂ©gionale Presse, Enseignement, Jeunesse) has become a WAN-IFRA "Centre of Youth Engagement Excellence during an induction ceremony in Paris.
This innovative and strong programme, formed by the French national and regional publishers associations (SPQR and SPQN), has been introducing young people to news since 1977 and continues to create new ideas for youth engagement
The "Center of Youth Engagement Excellence" designation honours newspaper associations that have a deep, long-term commitment and devote resources to news literacy and youth engagement, and the French association as been at the forefront of this work.
"One of our core values is assuring that new generations understand how news works and appreciate the importance of press freedom," said Vincent PeyrĂšgne, CEO of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA). "The French association has consistently done important work in this area for more than a generation and continues to innovate with a strong commitment to the future, and we are very pleased to grant them this designation."
ARPEJ â whose members and directors are journalists -- has maintained an emphasis on using newspapers in class, news literacy and journalistic practice among youth, as well as an appreciation of French history in news context. It coordinates the exchange of expertise among its members who have done such long-term actions as Journalist for a Day (l'Alsace and Le Progres de Lyon) and the Press Classes at Ouest-France and Le TĂ©legramme de Bresat.
Since 1989, it has been a leading force in partnership with the national education ministry'sÂ media education organization, CLEMI, in annual national Press Week actions. Most recently, it has created a national project that encourages 14- to-18-year-olds to take a journalistic approach exploring the realities ofÂ World War I among men and women who were about their age at that time. More than 400 classes across the country have joined that program.
The induction took place during a ceremony held in Paris on 12 March.Â Other newspaper and news media associations will receive the designation later this this year, with all to be honoured on 13 October during the opening ceremony of the World Publishing Expo in Amsterdam, the largest global trade exhibition for the news publishing and media industry.