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Knewz: Local & World News App

App review by
Christy Matte, Common Sense Media
Knewz: Local & World News App App Poster Image
News supplier tries, fails to do it all; iffy stuff abounds.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can access current news and events from a variety of perspectives. They can challenge their critical thinking skills as they work on their reading comprehension. 

Ease of Play

Navigation is generally straightforward, but some features/options are difficult to find. 

Violence

Mainstream, fringe, and tabloid coverage of stories include war, rape, murder, and other violent topics. 

Sex

Mainstream, fringe, and tabloid coverage of sex-related stories include molestation, rape, infidelity. 

Language

Expect to see a wide range of uncensored language including, "f--k," "s--t," "ass," and "c--t."

Consumerism

While the app itself has no ads, embedded articles retain their native ads, including pop-ups. Some linked sites have a heavy advertising presence.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Mainstream, fringe, and tabloid coverage of stories involve alcohol and drug abuse, smoking, driving under the influence, partying, etc.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Knewz: Local & World News App is a news aggregator that pulls stories from a wide range of sources, including mainstream media, fringe media, tabloids, and blogs. As such, the content quality is mixed, and the nature of the news is often full of mature stuff. Stories include sexual crimes, hate crimes, war, murder, infidelity, and drug and alcohol abuse. These are often portrayed without the filtering that is typically present in mainstream media outlets and may involve cursing, hate speech, and moderately graphic images (violent and/or sexual). Embedded articles retain their native pop-ups and advertising content. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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What's it about?

KNEWZ: LOCAL & WORLD NEWS APP aims to provide users with a broad-based view of the news on the topics of the day. By drawing from a wide range of news and media sources, they hope to help users get a balanced news perspective. According to their website, the news is curated by a combination of algorithms and a human editorial team. Stories cover a variety of topics, including politics, national news, world news, business, tech & science, and life. Each article is actually an embedded link to the original news source so users can view the article in its native form while remaining in the app. Ads, pop-ups and related content come along for the ride. Knewz: Local & World News App prides themselves in passing along page views, advertising hits, etc., to the original site. Users can choose to receive notifications for various news topics (breaking news, business news, etc.), and can share a whole news topic with someone else. 

Is it any good?

Providing balanced, unbiased news sources is a great goal, but offering opposing extreme views doesn't have the intended result. On paper, Knewz: Local & World News App ticks all the boxes: balanced news content, unbiased curating, and passing page views and credit along to the original sources. But, while it's true that reading news from sources from different sides of the political spectrum can make for a better-informed citizen, pitting Breitbart against Daily Kos doesn't really fit that bill. And, worse, tabloid-style "reporting" from other common click-bait outlets lowers the bar for what counts as news in the first place. The end result often feels sensationalist and crass. Sure, you're getting a lot of different voices, but can you believe any of them? It would help to limit the platform to sources that are generally accepted as reputable, allowing for slant in one direction or another. Or, at the very least, curate the articles from fringe outlets with more care. In terms of usability, kudos to Knewz: Local & World News App for wanting the original outlets to receive credit and advertising income for their content. Unfortunately, reading an article through a portal while still dealing with the original ads and pop-ups is a poor user experience, especially on a small device. There's little that is kid-friendly about this app, although it might appeal to older kids who are tired of being spoon-fed a narrow news view. Unfortunately, if the news isn't quality, no amount of balance can help. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about news and media literacy while using apps like Knewz: Local & World News App. How can you tell quality news from propaganda and "fake" news? How can you determine a quality news site?

  • The news can be scary and overwhelming. How do you avoid news-based anxiety and stress? Do you think the news covers a balance of stories? Is the news reflective of daily life in your area?

App details

For kids who love the news and current events

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