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How can I explain this to kids?

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A free dpa Whitepaper advises on how to report difficult news to children

16.03.2017 – Crisis reporting for children is the subject of a new, free Whitepaper from dpa, the German Press Agency. The book, entitled “Terrorism and Disasters – Why we must consider children when reporting on crises", contains three articles by experts on dealing with explaining potentially disturbing topics to children - without frightening them. The Whitepaper is being released on a special occasion: On 1 April Kindernachrichten, dpa’s children's news department, will be ten years old.

From the beginning, dpa Children's News has made a point of addressing issues such as aviation disasters, child abuse or terrorism in their reporting for six to twelve-year-olds. The Whitepaper explains why this is important: Children are likely to hear these stories anyway. But studies show that the less they know, the more afraid they are. Children's news is therefore not about detailed description of an unfortunate event, but instead focuses on providing background information.

For example, the Whitepaper contains a contribution from Caroline Gaertner, editor of the French children’s magazine, "Journal des Enfants". She explains how the publication deals with terrorist attacks in France. The article is also available in the original French. In an interview with the head of children's magazine "logo", Markus Moerchen, he explains what the team has to be aware of in television reporting on terror and disasters. The Media education expert Maya Goetz describes how such messages affect children and how they react. Finally, the Whitepaper is rounded off by children's quotes and an editorial by Ira Kugel, head of dpa’s Children's News.

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Michael Spinner-Just's picture

Michael Spinner-Just


2017-03-16 13:52

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