Should we encourage kids to care about 'the news'?
Would it help at all to teach kids social responsibility? Also, what are the best ways to make them consume 'appropriate' news?
3 experts and 1 parent have answered
The short answer is yes, definitely. The problem is how to get the 'appropriate' news.
I would describe myself as being very liberal in my social and political views but were I to consume purely liberal media I would fall victim to confirmation bias. I notice this on my Facebook feed where I see things, especially concerning conservatives, that seem to make sense but with a little digging are only half truths or misunderstandings.
The media tends to turn stories extreme, be it left or right, and this makes sifting through potential news sources not just arduous but increasingly difficult.
Parsing the 'news' is a skill that we need to learn first in order to pass it on to the next generation.
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Like the replies above, I agree we need to look at what is meant by 'the news' and also the age you're talking about. In general, I agree that most of the 'news' we are fed through usual channels such as TV, internet, and newspapers is dominated by either some of the pretty awful atrocities taking place across the world, or sensationalist/celebrity 'gossip' which most certainly isn't going to help teach children about social responsibility.
My 7 year old has recently started receiving a weekly copy of 'First News' which is a newspaper for kids aged 7-14 years. The main reason for doing this is that he would see me reading the newspaper and want to look at it too, but for many of the stories it either wasn't appropriate or they were difficult to explain. I really like the way the First News paper is presented and there is enough of a mix of stories for the range of children they appeal to. I don't 'make' him read the paper, it's up to him whether he wants to or not, but most weeks he comes home from school on a Friday and the first things he wants to do is look through his newspaper, then over the weekend he'll go back through and look in more detail.
With specific regard to teaching social responsibility, then again I find that newspaper stimulates conversation with my son which cover those kind of issues, but more than that we also regularly go beyond just talking and actually 'do' things to show awareness of, and support, for others e.g. fundraising, helping neighbours and so on.
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It is important for children to understand the world in which they live and news is simply information about what is happening in the world.
There are several great resources for children from the age of 11 & up to learn about some of the interesting, amazing and positive things happening in the world.
Here are some examples, but you can find news sites that are of interest to any child.
The BBC Science & Environment Page http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/scienceandenvironment/ This is a great resource for children to see what is happening in the world and there is a strong focus on new inventions and developments that are of interest to children.
The Elders http://www.theelders.org/news-media This is a group of global leaders who were brought together by Nelson Mandela who are working together for peace and human rights. The news stories on this site are often inspirational as well as global in focus.
The United Nations website http://www.un.org/en/ has interesting articles about the work they do.
There are also You Tube Channels like The Brain Scoop http://www.youtube.com/user/thebrainscoop that are intersting for kids.
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You need to define 'kids' and news. I'm assuming pre-teen and news to mean mainstream television news coverage in prime time.
I'm going to say no for this age group. Given that much of the news is bad news .... crime ... war ...... etc I would suggest that children do not need this negativity in their heads when they're children. Let them be kids for as long as they can.
They should be more concerned with clouds. Cartoons. Kid stuff.
They have a lifetime minus pre-teen years to be exposed to an incessant and mind-numbing bombardment of bad news.