A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.
Many stories teach viewers basic truths about American government, current news events. Topics of society and culture, human interest stories about notable kids and teens. In some cases, stories both teach and inspire by showing how young people filled needs with goods or services of their own creation, encouraging viewers to do the same.
Presents news and human interest stories without bias or political slant. Some inspire, all inform, and the content is always appropriate for grade-schooler audience.
Positive Role Models
Many of the stories' subjects are kids and teens being recognized for entrepreneurship, volunteerism, altruism, or otherwise impressive achievements.
Products & Purchases
Stories that pertain to businesses, nonprofits, other work involve some promotion by way of the projects' visibility.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that NBC News for Universal Kids is a newscast series geared toward 6- to 12-year-olds that presents stories about culture, current events, and American government, often related to how those stories influence kids' and teens' lives. Some human interest stories introduce viewers to young people who are making a big difference in their communities and beyond through inventions, volunteerism, and other notable accomplishments. The host makes the content applicable to viewers by posing questions related to the stories and by explaining potentially unfamiliar terms like "entrepreneur" and "government shutdown" as they arise. This series makes a concerted effort to deliver information in a fair and unbiased way, but the brief segments don't allow much time to explore weighty topics fully.
Is It Any Good?
Designed to encourage news literacy in kids as young as 6 years old, this series does a decent job selecting content that will be of interest to its intended audience. As such, these aren't hard-hitting or overly opinionated news stories; rather, they're all about cataloging the who, what, where, when, and why and letting viewers make their own calls from there. Even those that delve into hot-button current events like immigration reform and political protest remain mostly hands-off in interpretation, but by condensing complex topics into two-minute presentations, the series greatly oversimplifies them.
NBC News for Universal Kids' biggest challenge is in filling a gap its young audience probably didn't even know existed. Thanks to the internet, kids and tweens have no shortage of information sources (some better than others, of course). With news, videos, and stories literally at their fingertips, a newscast that preselects its content and presents it in short form might not draw crowds among this media-ultraliterate set. Even so, this series gives parents the opportunity to talk about matters of media and reliable news sources with their kids.
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.