Last year was quite the year for news. Things happened that no one thought would; unexplainable things that seemed to be completely backwards in our collective minds. How do you even begin to explain some of the national and international events to children without making them completely scared about the world around them?
Added to this, we’ve entered the era of Post Truth. Although there is ‘news’ all around us, it is hard to find an authentic news source. Over Christmas, I watch a storm erupt over on twitter about a supposed ‘news story’, several people (no one with a blue tick, or a credible news agency I may add) claimed they had reliable ‘sources’ and it was absolutely true. Guess what? None of it was true. It was all a fabrication, but it was still a trending subject on Twitter. This all leads to confusion, doubt, untruths and ultimately, in my view, it makes the world a more terrifying place.
Of course, I don’t want to keep my children in the dark: They are well travelled and are growing up in a multicultural environment. I want their horizons to keep on expanding and to know what is going on in their world, both nationally and internationally. I want them to be informed and engaged but certainly not scared by the news. They are the future generation and I want them to go into their adulthood with hope and knowledge, they deserve and need an authentic news source just for them, as children.
I feel they are still too young to be delving into the broadsheets. As much as they need to informed, in depth political and economic analysis, is probably a few steps too far. Therefore, it’s been wonderful to find First News, a responsible news source which is aimed at 7 to 12 year olds. It is pitched so the news is engaging, but certainly not scary and actually is a brilliant reading resource if they are reluctant readers.
The latest issue’s front page story reports that it’s a good new year for elephants as China introduces an ivory ban and further into the paper, there is a special report on living in a war zone of Syria as a child. Of course, news covers all genres and sport and entertainment are featured, and the paper is very image friendly, connecting the child even more to the news story. The stories tend to be aimed to pique a child and their interests such as reporting about the Syrian child in his homemade Messi kit finally meeting his hero, and how NASA plans to house astronaughts on Mars in igloos!
I would love to know how you explain the news to your children, and what sources you have found that are both authentic and child-friendly.
Should you wish to take a subscription for your child of First News, there is currently a promotion: The price is 5 issues for £1 (on direct debit). This is a trial offer. After the 5 issues it continues as a price of £15.99 every 3 months. Most people choose to continue with the subscription. However there is no obligation and the customer can call or email to cancel the subscription at any point and no further money will be taken. This is for the print edition of the newspaper only. You can access this offer here. This post is written in collaboration, but as ever, all thoughts and opinions are my own.