A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this podcast.
Little News Ears covers a wide range of stories worldwide, giving listeners a better sense of the world beyond their own experience. Works to strengthen young listeners' critical thinking skills.
The world is a big place full of many different kinds of people. The voices of children matter and deserve to be heard. Curiosity and critical thinking should be encouraged and empowered.
Positive Role Models
The young hosts of Little News Ears might inspire listeners to take an interest in the news, as they often deliver the stories enthusiastically. Their natural curiosity makes all types of news feel accessible and interesting to younger listeners.
Because Little News Ears has a variety of shows within the feed, it opens the doors to young hosts from a variety of backgrounds. Girls host many of the network's shows, and others are led by hosts from other nations, such as its new Sri Lankan host. Also, the news stories covered on shows such as World Kidlines with Paxton and Asian-American News for Kids give listeners a glimpse into other cultures around the world. The voice of the news and media literacy is put in the hands of kids, giving them agency of the news they find interesting and want to share with their peers.
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Violence & Scariness
In reporting the news, darker subject matters (e.g., wars, death, discrimination) occasionally comes up. But the young hosts never dwell on the upsetting aspects of these topics, instead lightening the news with a focus on the positive.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Little News Ears is a podcast that gives kids a platform to present news from all around the world that interests them. At time the news reported includes serious topics such as global conflicts, world religion, and the lives of historical figures. Although these topics are presented in a kid-friendly and light manner, some adults may want to listen in to be able to expand the conversation after the episodes. In that case, Little News Ears could be a good way to jumpstart important conversations and really get kids to start thinking critically about the news and build their media literacy skills.
Is It Any Good?
Little News Ears might have the ambitious goal of presenting news in a way kids can understand, but the mixed results indicate that perhaps the show should focus on a more controlled format instead. As it stands, the Little News Ears feed is home to more than a half-dozen shows, with the production value often suffering. Sound quality can be rough at times, with dead air and poor editing present throughout.
In addition, the feed seems to have been active since at least 2020, though only episodes released in 2023 and beyond are widely available. Maybe the show already underwent an overhaul in the past at some point. In any case, perhaps the current slate of shows could be consolidated into segments of a longer, more thorough program with a steady hand guiding the entire thing. But in its current form, Little News Ears is a great idea lacking the proper execution to deliver the results it aspires to.
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.
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