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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
OTTAWA, September 3, 2002 - As media coverage intensifies around the first anniversary of the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, it is extremely important to help young people navigate the flow of information and images, strong emotions, conflicting view points and speculation about possible new attacks, advises Canada's Media Awareness Network (MNet).
To help parents, teachers, librarians and others working with young people, MNet collaborated with child psychiatrist Dr. Arlette Lefebvre on Talking to Kids About the First Anniversary of 9/11 - a tip sheet of practical ideas and links to resources that is now available online at MNet's award-winning Web site www.media-awareness.ca.
"Discussions about these potentially threatening situations can be very disturbing for kids," warns Dr. Arlette Lefebvre, Staff Psychiatrist, Toronto Hospital for Sick Children (HSC). "In fact, some young children could be traumatized simply by watching the replay of one-year-old events. Certain kids will be more vulnerable, including those who are worriers and generally anxious, or children who have suffered any serious trauma, particularly ones involving fire or destruction of their homes or physical abuse, as well as those who have lost a loved one in the past year, or who have a vivid imagination," Dr. Lefebvre underlined.
This makes it as important now as it was in the aftermath of the initial attacks to take a proactive role to work with children in terms of their media consumption, according to Jan D'Arcy, Executive Director of the Media Awareness Network (MNet).
"With very young children this may mean shielding them from exposure to as much of the coverage as possible, while with teens we'd recommend taking a very proactive approach by using the media with them and helping them to think critically about what they see, hear and read. Today's young people are big media consumers, whether it's via the Internet, TV, radio, newspapers or other popular media," Ms. D'Arcy noted. "Helping them now to understand how the media work and the media's role to inform is an enormous gift that will be invaluable to them throughout their lives."
Here are some quick tips from the Media Awareness Network site:
Dr. Arlette Lefebvre
Hospital for Sick Children
The Media Awareness Network (MNet) is a non-profit Canadian organization whose mission is to support and encourage media education, and its widest possible integration into Canadian schools, homes and communities. Our aim is to help people, particularly children and youth, to develop an informed and critical understanding of the nature of the media, the techniques used in creating media products, and the media's role and influence within society.
The Media Awareness Network gratefully acknowledges its sponsors and partners:
Bell Canada, Rogers Cable, CTV, CanWest Global, CHUM Television
Shaw Communications, TELUS, A&E, AOL Canada, Craig Broadcast Systems, Canadian Heritage, Health Canada, Human Resources Development Canada, Industry Canada and CA*net Institute
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