A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this app.
Kids can learn about how the media is dependent on many factors and can have a lot of control over public perception. Because app is text-heavy, kids will have to do a lot of reading and really understand how changing the language can make a difference. Parents can help kids connect the dots between idea of newspaper and today's other media outlets.
Ease of Play
Tap/drag controls work well; decision-making is the toughest bit.
Violence & Scariness
Mentions of explosions and other violence in newspaper articles.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Violence & Scariness in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Newspaper articles mention "sexual deviancy."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Sex, Romance & Nudity in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Rare instances of "s--t."
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Language in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Newspaper articles mention drunkenness.
Did you know you can flag iffy content? Adjust limits for Drinking, Drugs & Smoking in your kid's entertainment guide.Get started
Parents Need to Know
Is It Any Good?
This simple simulator focuses on telling a good story and letting kids experience how news outlets hold the power of perception in their pens. The Westport Independent puts you in charge of making complicated, life-and-death decisions. It doesn't seem that way at first; you're just the editor of a local newspaper tasked with raising your papers' profile and selling as many papers as you can. The arrival of a certain "Public Culture" bill, though, raises the idea of "appropriate" content, as well as the stakes of publication. From then on, every decision you make has the potential to, at least, alienate your employees (who all have their own political beliefs) and, at most, bring government agents to your door. If you want to play it safe, you can fixate on fluff -- celebrity gossip and the like -- but if you want to report the big stories, you'll have to take sides. That means acting as a government mouthpiece, spinning stories to make certain groups seem beneficial and even heroic, or helping the populace by telling the unvarnished truth. It's not easy: The Westport Independent makes clear the risk you take reporting on things like industrial safety, joblessness, and police brutality. And what's great about it is that it makes you responsible for what the public knows and expertly demonstrates how complicated (and dangerous) it is to do the right thing. It also introduces the idea of distribution, and how money can affect how media outlets convey the news. Parents can help kids connect the dots between the newspaper in the game and the current, varied forms of news that exist today, including clickbait and misinformation. In our media-soaked political climate, The Westport Independent is a great tool for teaching kids how important it is to have a free press, as well as how media spin alters our perception of reality.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.