Has your youth edition done a good job in explaining bad news to children and teen-agers? If so, let us know what you did by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org.
REBUILDING A SCHOOL IN JAPAN
The three dailies for children in France did more than cover the earthquake disaster in Japan. They are calling on their young readers (ages 7 to 17) to donate funds to rebuild a school. Readers have helped before after disasters a total of 180 000 Euros raised for rebuilding after earthquakes and tsunamis in Pakistan, Haiti and Asia. The funds will help reconstruct a school in Oshika, near the parot of Ishinomaki, in the heavily damaged northeast region, where the editor François Dufour, had visited in early April. The Paris-based dailies, Le Petit Quotidien, Mon Quotidien and l'Actu, total 150 000 circulation.
EXPLAINING THE MIDDLE EAST REVOLUTIONS
> A Luxemburg paper put the Arab Spring events into the context of other anti-régime revolutions
> Stories from Lebanon about the Facebook link, the peril of burning tires and the crucial role of youth in the events.
> A Brazilian editorial page in the main paper that made sure children, too, could understand the message about why the press is vital in such a situation.
> French daily and weekly newspapers for children that expained the events and the countries to children as young as age 7.
> A Singapore paper that encouraged teachers to explore what would happen if such a protest emerged there.
> A German wire service that explained how journalists work and children live in Egypt.
Descriptions of these projects from 2011 and more are below. If you have your own example to add, you can contact email@example.com 
BRAZIL – Zero Hora editorial page includes summary by and for children (7 Feb.)
What they did: The team of Zero Hora's Opinion Page asked a 10-year-old member of the paper's Kids' Reader Council to summarize for young readers the editorial of the day. In addition, she shared her own vision about the main text, which condemns the press repression in Egypt.
Why: This move was a continuation of the paper's philosophy of Total Youth Think that integrates content for the young in the normal columns of the paper. A "For your Child Read" sidebar regularly translates complex issues into a more comprehensible form for children. The editorial appeared on the right side of the editorial page, accompanied by the "For Your child to read" logo.
At the bottom of the page, you can download the Zero Hora editorial page that is pictured above.
FRANCE - Le Journal des Enfants weekly for children ages 8 to 14 (20 Jan. - 17 Feb.)
Le Journal des Enfants did not make the events in the Middle East a top story for the week, but covered it from several angles over several weeks with a link from Page One (pictured at left).
What they did and why: We strive to treat information in a neutral way, without taking sides, and in a concise way, concentrating on the essentials. We use simple words, short sentences, bearing in mind what children may or may not know (that Cairo is the capital of Egypt, for example.)
The aim is to help children understand a news item that too quickly on television and radio for them to comprehend.
For example, in our issue of January 20 (the first of the year dedicated to Tunisia), we presented a chronology of the country with a map. To organize the explanation of the facts, we used questions and answers.
The following week (January 27), we chose a more original angle, "the money of dictators, " which also explained the anger of the population.
On 3 and 10 February, we put the spotlight on Egypt, which was experience a revolution modeled on the events in Tunisia, although the context is different. Several angles are addressed (the views of leaders of other countries, the impact on tourism, who are these Muslim Brothers who could come to power, etc.)..
Finally, in our issue of 17 February, we chose to write about the ancient Egyptian treasures that are threatened by looters during the demonstrations. This is another angle that will interest young readers, enthusiasts of the Pharaohs and the pyramids of Egypt.
At the bottom of the page, you can download the issues of Le Journal des Enfants that are mentioned above.
FRANCE - Play Bac Presse dailiesfor children ages 6 to 9 (Mon Petit Quotidien), 10-13 (Mon Quotidien) and 14 and up (l’Actu) -- 1 Feb. and 15 Feb.
Play Bac Presse, which publishes three dailies for children in French and one weekly in English, concentrates on doing real journalism for children, covering all news of interest to children. It also relies on members of its youth audience to select the day’s main news stories.
The Egypt story was no different, with each paper handling it in a manner appropriate to the age group of the audience. The story made the front page in early February.
L’actu, for secondary level students, had a general news approach with protest photos on the cover and “”five questions to understand the situation” in a middle two-page spread: Is the situation comparable to that in Tunisia? How have other countries reacted? Is there an opposition to Moubarak? Did the regime practice censorship? Who are the looters?
Mon Quotidien, for primary level students, concentrated its Front Page coverage on the looting at the Cairo Museum, which is filled with antiquities. The inside pages included details about the problem and what the authorities were doing to prevent further theft and damage and general background about Egypt, plus a map.
On the 15th of February, each paper devoted the first three pages to the victory over Mubarek, representing 3/4 of the space in the paper for the youngest audience, Headlines in looked to the future "A revolution achieved," for the oldest readers of L'actu with "The Egyptian Army, a guide to democracy? "The people of Egypt throw out their president," for the middle group with the inside asking "Soon free elections?" For the youngest group (up to age 9) reading Le Petit Quotidien, the headline read "Egyptions, in revolt, throw out their president" with an inside that answers questions and offers basics about the country.
At the bottom of the page, you can download the issues of L'actu, Le Petit Quotidien and Mon Petit Quotidien that are mentioned above.
GERMANY - DPA - Nachrichten für Kinder - wire service's news for children ages 7 to 12
Susanne Goldstein, the director, noted, "We explained in our news what happened and why it happened. We also focused on background information regarding general information:
- We interviewed an expert and asked him what an army caused in such a country (why does countries have an army, what positive effect may have an army, what problems may be caused by an army).
- We also picked up the issue how do journalists work in trouble spots. As an example, a colleague in Cairo described what she actually does in Egypt.
- An extra background dealt with the question why journalists work in trouble spots voluntarily and how the can be protected against risks, etc.
- We spoke with a Cairo boy and with the head of a German school in Cairo to find out in what the situation is for children in Egypt now.
- We also sent pictorials showing the geographic area.
INDIA: Global Times newspaper for students ages 6 to 18
According to Vera Sharma, managing editor, The The Global Times featured the story about Cario as part of the “Newspaper Making Contest’ issue prepared by students of Amity International School Pushp Vihar, New Delhi, India where students are trained to write news and articles.
In the first phase, the edit team of the school visited The Global Times office where they discussed what they would like to read in their issue. During the discussion it was revealed that most children did not have a complete picture of what happened in Cairo and everyone wanted to know about it in simple words and their language.
The next challenge was how to present it. Various formats were discussed and researched. With mutual consent it was decided to follow a ‘Diary entry’ format because, as Sharma explains:
• The Diary is written by a child who represents the readers age. Hence children can relate to it.
• The Cairo unrest began from a Facebook interaction. The dairy format is in sync with the facebook format which has entries posted day wise.
• Children at this age are encouraged to write diaries which are also an integral part of their school curriculum. Therefore ‘school children’ who are our target audience, are comfortable reading it.
• This format brings out the complete chronology of the event in a more interactive and lively fashion replete with emotions and feelings.
• Providing the chronology of events with facts and figures is something that everyone follows. A diary entry format provides the same info with a personalized touch.
• It enhances the creative writing skills of children.
• It makes the reporter imagine herself as a reporter in a live war like situation and report on the same.
As The Global Times is a newspaper completely by the children, for the children and of the children, every decision to do a story and the format followed is done in consultation
LEBANON: Nahar Ashshabab supplement of An Nahar for secondary school and post-secondary school youth(20 Jan., 3 and 10 Feb.)
Nahar Ashabab (the weekly youth supplement of An-Nahar in Lebanon) has been giving space to the events and uprisings in the region, from Tunisia, to Lebanon, to Egypt and Syria. The focus has been on the role of the youth in the quest for change, on how effective youth are in such quest with a goal to make sure their role and contribution are known, and not suppressed.
Here is a sampling of Nahar Ashabab’s coverage:
20 January: Cover picture: a man in flames. He burns himself. This is the offset of the Tunisian revolution. Editorial by Nayla Tueni, editor, deputy and daughter of assassinated publisher Gebran Tueni, following the resignation of Lebanese minister. Focus section under the headline: "A burning revolution in the world of the Arabs" Main topic about Tunisia and relevant comments: Lebanese reactions, an Egyptian burns himself, Algerians burned in great numbers. In Mauritania too. In Sudan as well. Plus a separate story: Revolutions can only be chaotic if not well organized.
3 February Cover: Where to after Tunisia and Egypt? (Question mark on picture) Editorial by Nayla Tueni: on situation in Lebanon after new prime minister is appointed. Focus section showing Tahrir square, angry people in the streets, the youth who have only known Mubarak as president is rebelling against the regime. Last demonstration going back to 1977 and called “the bread intifada” Countries to follow in the footsteps of Egypt and Tunisia.
On February 5, Syrian angry day: Facebook involvement. In Beirut, Lebanese divided over Egyptian intifada, according to political affiliations. What and how they think of the whole issue.
10 February Revolution of the internet youth Editorial by Nayla Tueni on Egyptian revolution on its 17th day. Focus on technology generation threatening the regimes and importance of social media in politics. Photo: "We are facebook guys" in Tahrir square. Wael Ghanim who started it all on twitter talking to the crowds. Feature about burning tires: Harmful effects of burning tires, a sign of revolution (in Lebanon for example).
LUXEMBURG – Tageblatt’s weekly Kinderseite page for children (2 Feb.)
What they did: The editorial staff explained the reasons that triggered off the revolts in Tunisia and in Egypt. It particularly emphasizes on the social injustices, on the gap and contrasts between rich and poor, on unemployment and on the quest of the populations to be given access to political decision making and to freedom of expression.
This page also explained, in simple and easily accessible language, what a revolution is. To that extent it mentions some historical examples like the French revolution and the October revolution in Russia. Editors also offered ideas for further reading about the French revolution.
At the bottom of the page, you can download the Kinderseite page that is pictured above.
SINGAPORE – weekly supplements of Straits Times: Little Red Dot (primary level, 7 Feb.) and IN (secondary, 7 Feb.)
What they did: The first material for primary students was a very short explanation on the world news page. For secondary students, the first full page looked at closely at the Tunisia situation examining the background, the trigger and the fallout. The paper offered suggestions for further “thinking” and “talking” excercises that also asked students to imagine what might make such protest occur in Singapore.
Why: Said Geraint Wong Hy, the teacher who works with the project, "We wanted first of all to give the students a succinct account of the situations in the two countries, to help them understand what is going on there. The accompanying lesson activities have been designed to get students to think more deeply about the events, to appreciate the fact that real people are involved and affected by them, and to relate them to their own situation in Singapore.”
Said editor Serene Goh: "We felt that the unfortunate events in Tunisia, then Egypt, as well as their ripple effect on the rest of the world, was a perfect teaching opportunity using the news. The facts were presented in bite-sized news bits, while accompanying lessons were geared to get young readers engaged in critical thinking and analysis of world events."
At the bottom of the page, you can download the pages of the Straits Times supplements that are mentioned above.