NBC Nightly News Kids Edition

TV review by
Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media
NBC Nightly News Kids Edition TV Poster Image
Kid-oriented newscast helps teach media literacy.

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The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

It explains what the news is, and discusses the importance of facts to understand what is happening around the world. Concepts (like virus, race, protest, etc.) are defined. It also promotes critical thinking and media literacy. 

Positive Messages

It highlights the fact that children are exposed to the news, but may need guidance to understand what is happening and why. The importance of kids discussing the issues with their parents and family is underscored. There's lots of interesting and inspiring news as well as challenging stories. 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Lester Holt offers a professional, but more casual version of his news anchor persona in each installment. episode in order to be more appealing to young viewers. Young people from around the country are profiled thanks to the work they do to help others. 

Violence & Scariness

Issues like getting sick, protests, and other disturbing news reports are included, but are deconstructed in ways that are more gentle and less frightening than if the stories were to appear in the regular NBC Nightly News series. 

Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that NBC Nightly News Kids Edition is a short news program that presents news stories in ways that are easier for kids to understand and process. It offers the opportunity for children to improve there media literacy skills. It's intended for viewers between the ages of 6-16, but some segments deal with complex and potentially scary topics (like race relations and COVID-19), and parents are encouraged to talk with kids about what they’ve learned. 

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What's the story?

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS KIDS EDITION is an NBC news series produced for children. NBC’s Lester Holt anchors the newscast, which includes short segments about current events, young people doing inspiring things, and other interesting news stories. Kid reporters also deliver some exciting information, too. Specific installments of the series feature experts that help answer kids' questions about some of the more disturbing or scary things being discussed in the headlines. 

Is it any good?

This series offers child-friendly journalism by covering timely, factual accounts in ways that young viewers can understand easier than its adult-oriented evening news counterpart. Top stories address events that are headlining across the world, such as the spread of COVID-19, and ongoing race-related protests. But the reporting is less overwhelming for young viewers to process, even though the facts remain the same. Furthermore, many of these stories explain, rather than simply report, events so that children will have an easier time understanding what’s happening around the world. More importantly, these narratives are presented in ways that invite young viewers to talk to their parents about them. The time spent on these stories is purposely limited, and most newscasts follow them with youth profiles, features about animals, and other pieces that help keep the overall newscast upbeat. NBC Nightly News Kids Edition is a great viewing option for young news enthusiasts. It also offers a great opportunity for young people to work on their critical thinking skills while becoming more media literate.  

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the different stories that appear in each news cast. How does NBC Nightly News Kids Edition specifically make the conversations about difficult topics easier for kids to process? 

  • What kinds of stories are excluded from the Kids Edition newscasts? Why? Given that this is supposed to be factual news, is it appropriate to do so? 

  • What is media literacy? Why is it important for kids to be media literate, especially when it comes to the news

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TV details

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