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CBC Kids News
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that CBC Kids News features content that's appropriate -- and specifically written for -- younger readers. Most items don't include controversial topics, although the site tries to handle more charged subject matter (such as violent content or substance use) sensitively. Kids can choose from responses like "Love it!" and "Meh" to indicate if they liked an item or not; users can't write their own response, though, so kids shouldn't see any offensive comments.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's it about?
CBC KIDS NEWS was created by CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada's national public broadcaster, to serve as a trusted, reliable news source to help kids develop media literacy skills. Educators and researchers helped determine what content would be age-appropriate; an editorial board comprised of 9- to 13-year-olds also weighed in. Many articles center on local, regional, and national Canadian news, but some sports, pop culture, and other items involve other countries. Posts often feature a number of images; some also have videos, quizzes, or polls.
Is it any good?
The news on this kid focused site is interesting, but its lack of a search function can make finding content or stories that you're interested quite difficult. CBC Kids News presents Informative content mixed with more whimsical topics -- a typhoon hitting Japan and a pig that got surgery and became an internet sensation are examples of stories that might be next to each other on the home page. The combination provides a nice balance and keeps the coverage from seeming too serious. Also, having kid contributors write some items helps make the site feel like it was truly created for kids, instead of just a collection of watered-down versions of news articles that were written for adults.
Although a large number of posts are Canada-centric, kids don't have to live there to enjoy reading them; some topics, like animals, have universal appeal. The short, fairly simple sentences in articles are great for younger readers, but users toward the end of the site's intended 9-13 age range may find the tone a bit too juvenile. Offering articles for different age groups would help solve that issue; it'd also be nice if kids could view posts by topic -- or conduct a general keyword search to find similar items. Without that functionality, kids may need to hit the Load More button frequently -- which can get tedious -- if they're looking for something specific. While you might not get a comprehensive look at all of the day's hottest news items on the site, you can find out about some notable recent occurrences. You'll also come across a number of other interesting topics, which may help spark an ongoing interest in the world. It may also encourage some kids to start following the news, either through CBC Kids News' periodic current event round-up and other posts or a completely separate media outlet.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about reliable news sources -- and unsubstantiated ones. How can kids tell the difference?
Why is it helpful to approach breaking news stories -- and real-life situations -- by understanding that there are two sides to every story? How can kids factor in the other person's perspective?
For kids who love news
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