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Children’s news programmes are regular news broadcasts reporting on relevant current events, but their content and design is specifically tailored to the needs of children and pre-teens. While children’s understanding of news is relatively broad, it is nonetheless based on the same principle that applies to all age groups: they want to hear about events that affect many people, but are as close as possible to children’s everyday lives (Weisser). Even 6- to 13-year-olds have an idea of the news value of a story, though this is often different from what adolescents and adults consider newsworthy (Götz & Kleine-Besten). Children’s preferred topics include nature, animals, and media (for example news about films and television, comics and books). Most find topics such as economics and politics fairly unappealing. Children would prefer not to hear anything at all about disasters and crises (Götz), since news can overwhelm them emotionally. At the same time, children do become aware of the current events, and develop anxieties about the news format, which is counterproductive for their basic political education and their active involvement in society. This leads to one of the great challenges facing children’s news editors: on the one hand, they have to try to make news for children positive and avoid overburdening them emotionally; on the other hand, it is their job to report on relevant events such as crimes, natural disasters and crises. Research shows how this can be done successfully, for example with “constructive news” and a structure based on the “sandwich formula” (vom Orde). Reports from scientific studies following different formats use various examples to show problems but also possible ways to make news programmes that appeal to children (Holler). This issue of TelevIZIon on the topic of “children’s news” also summarizes how children’s news reports are organized in the international network WADADA News for Kids (Bult), and how children’s news editors all over the world design their formats.
Head of the International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television
News from children's perspective
The article summarises current study data on the topic of children's news and uses a current qualitative study to explore the question of what children in Germany think the news is and to what extent they use it.
Children's news: Topics that interest children
Maya Götz/Caroline Kleine-Besten
What makes a story newsworthy for children and adolescents?
For an IZI study, n=1,461 young people between the ages of 6 and 19 evaluated various news items with regard to their news value and relevance.
"They could describe some things more"
Yamile Sandoval-Romero/Elke Franke
Inclusion, empowerment, and participation: The representation of children in ¡Vientos!, noticias que vuelan
A qualitative study with 59 7- to 15-yearolds living in the municipalities of Chiapas in Mexico inquired how inclusion, participation and empowerment is perceived in the representation of children in the children's news programme ¡Vientos!, noticias que vuelan.
Map of children's news worldwide
Sandra Cadavid (Dominican Republic)/
Claudia Daza (Bolivia)/Mthoba Chapi (South Africa)/Lewis James (UK)/Constanze Knöchel (Germany)/Milica Djurović (Montenegro)/
Christina Johansen (Denmark)/Tina Antončič (Slovenia)
Children's TV news worldwide
Producers and editors of children's news from different countries in the world were asked how their children's news
programmes are organized, how they deal with difficult topics during the COVID-19 pandemic and what they consider especially important when producing news items for children.
How do you present complex issues in a way that children can understand?
The international Free Press Unlimited WADADA News for Kids
Heike vom Orde
Young people and the news