What Matters



30-minute 60 Minutes for tweens and up.

What parents need to know

Positive messages
Not applicable

Some news events are violent and will be shown in as mild a way as possible -- i.e. rock throwing, rather than grenades.

Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this is a news program, and as such may include scenes of real violence -- usually limited to rock-throwing or the mildest footage of the event available, but still possibly disturbing to young viewers. It's also worth noting that these were filmed in the late '90s and some episodes may be out of date.

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What's the story?

WHAT MATTERS is a news magazine designed for teens and preteens. Each episode includes an international, domestic, and lifestyle story aimed at teens' interests and offering a teen persepctive. Generally, teens are interviewed for each segment, which is narrated by teens as well. It provides exposure to television news and its advantages and disadvantages, offering the chance to discuss facts, opinions, and whether there might be more to the story.

Is it any good?


What Matters was filmed in the late '90s, but most subjects are still current, which might offer another opportunity to talk. If famine in one country and violence in another were news almost 10 years ago, why hasn't anything changed? It's a good starting point for many family discussions -- from what family members think of the issue itself to what they might say or do if someone tried to interview them for a news program like this one.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about the events and issues shown -- violence in Northern Island, famine, dress codes, make-up. Families can also use this as a jumping-off point for discussing televised media and news. Can you believe what's being shown? What's fact, and what's opinion? If you wanted to find out more, what could you do?

TV details

Network:HBO Family
TV rating:TV-Y7

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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