A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this website.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that this site is run by the folks at Thirteen/WNET NY (a public television station in New York City), and funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. It delivers fair, balanced news stories on topics from weather and arts to technology and sports in a format parents will find safe for their kids and kids will find entertaining.
What's it about?
Log on to PBSKIDS.ORG/NEWSFLASHFIVE and you'll find a virtual world where cartoon anchors read the week's news and kids from across the country file local news stories.
The site, a Public Broadcasting Service property, engages young users by posting news they'll find interesting in a kid-accessible format. The site is \"hosted\" by a diverse group of cartoon kids who sit at an anchor desk much like Katie Couric or Brian Williams. Kid-appropriate news stories are posted (during the week of April 4, 2007, the top story was San Francisco's ban on plastic bags), and there are dedicated areas to national news, world news, sports, weather, and arts and technology.
Is it any good?
The site, though kid-friendly, doesn't shy away from hard-hitting stories. It covered the detaining of British sailors in Iran and how food ads target young kids. What's more, kids can learn how to find and file their own news stories. They can use a tutorial to write their own piece (and possibly have it be featured on the site) or "get the scoop" by going through an interactive investigative scenario.
One thing this site is missing is it's ability to retain users. It would be great to see community boards where kids could discuss current events with other kids, or quizzes to test their news knowledge.