NewsBrands Ireland launch Press Pass 2017, the sixth year of their student journalism and news literacy TY programme

  • Twitter announced as new programme partner for 2017
  • Over 70,000 students and 800 schools have participated to date
  • Deadline for schools to sign up for Press Pass is 26th October 2017

Dublin, 27 September 2017. NewsBrands Ireland today launched the sixth year of Press Pass, their highly successful Transition Year student journalism and news literacy programme, and announced that Twitter have come board as a partner this year.

Since the Press Pass programme launched five years ago, approximately 70,000 students have benefited from it. With the full support of the Department of Education, Press Pass seeks to improve literacy and critical thinking skills while helping students to develop a deeper understanding of news media and how it communicates about the world around them.

Participating schools receive newspapers, a new Teacher’s Lesson Plan and a specially created workbook free of charge. Students are encouraged to engage with the newspapers in the classroom, to analyse them and then to create their own original journalism, the best of which was entered into a national competition. Through Press Pass students become familiar with a variety of language types (information, argument, narration, persuasion) that they will encounter during the Leaving Certificate English programme. Students also learn to analyse content and are asked to think and form opinions about important social issues.

Speaking at today’s announcement, NewsBrands Ireland Chairman Vincent Crowley said that Press Pass allows students to take advantage of the many educational resources that newspapers have to offer.

“All NewsBrands Ireland member publishers firmly believe in the efficacy of Press Pass. That belief is based on research from around the globe that finds, consistently, that newspapers play a vital role in the development of writing, reading and critical thinking skills.”

Speaking about the partnership with Twitter, Mr. Crowley added:

“We are delighted to welcome Twitter on board as a partner in this year’s Press Pass programme. Twitter’s job, like newsbrands, is to keep people informed about what is happening in the world. It enables new and existing readers to find quality journalism from newsbrands and has become a powerful tool for newsrooms. The platform is an integral part of the journalist toolkit – assisting in news gathering and sourcing eyewitnesses – as well as promoting content to further engage readers.”

Sinéad McSweeney, Twitter Managing Director, said:

“We believe that helping young people to learn how to identify credible sources of information is vital. Press Pass encourages students to develop a critical eye and analytical skills which are the tools needed to be a more informed and engaged citizen. Participants will use Twitter to research and verify stories, and we’ll help them along the way. Thank you to NewsBrands Ireland for spearheading this exciting partnership.”

Press Pass: Information for Schools and Key Dates:

  • Schools can sign up for this year’s Press Pass programme on
  • The closing date for applications is 26th October 2017
  • Participating’s schools will receive their Student Workbooks, Teacher’s Lesson Plan and newspapers on the third week of November
  • The closing date for the student journalism competition is the 31st January 2018
  • The awards ceremony will take place in Twitter HQ, Dublin in April 2018