Note: Since this article was written the Media Literacy Index has released updated rankings for 2021. As in previous years, Finland remains the top ranked country among the 35 European countries included in the index.
According to a 2019 study of 35 European countries, Finland ranks highest for the potential of its citizens to correctly identify and resist fake news. Denmark, the Netherlands, Sweden and Estonia also ranked highly. According to the Media Literacy Index 2019, produced by the European Policies Initiative (EuPI) of the Open Society Institute – Sofia, these countries are considered the best equipped to withstand the impact of fake news due to the quality of education, free media and high level of trust among their societies. Finland in particular has taken the threat of fake news seriously enough to start addressing it with students as early as primary school. Their cross-disciplinary approach includes a reading curriculum which emphasizes multi-platform literacy and critical thinking, mathematics classes that introduce how easy it is to obscure facts with statistics, and even art lessons which explore how an image’s meaning can be manipulated. Read more about Finland’s curriculum in CIEB’s country profile. And find out how teachers can better prepare students for the digital future in Anthony Mackay’s Global Ed Talks interview with Vivien Stewart (available as video or podcast).