It’s important to pay close attention to what children see in the news because studies have shown that kids are more afraid of violence in news coverage than in any other media content. By creating a proper perspective and context for news and current events programs, we can help kids develop the critical thinking skills they need to understand news stories and the news industry.
The intense media coverage that accompanies traumatic events, such as war, acts of terrorism and natural disasters, can be very disturbing for children and teens. Certain young people are particularly vulnerable and some can be seriously distressed simply by watching TV replays of such events.
Parents, educators, health practitioners and others who work with kids can help to lessen anxieties arising from the coverage of catastrophic events.
Making Your Voice Heard: A Media Toolkit for Youth is designed to help young people understand how the news industry works, why youth stereotyping happens and how they can access media to get positive youth voices and stories heard.
For most youth, the Internet is all about socializing and while most of these social interactions are positive, increasing numbers of kids are using the technology to intimidate and harass others – a phenomenon known as cyberbullying.
Did you know? Two-thirds of Canadian students have helped someone who was being picked on online.
When you see or hear bad things happening online, you have a lot of power to make things better – or worse. Sometimes it’s hard to know the right thing to do, so ask yourself these questions:
Give your kids the guidance they need.
MediaSmarts is pleased to announce that we have partnered with Instagram and Connect Safely to launch a Parents’ Guide to Instagram to help prepare you to give your kids the guidance they need.
MediaSmarts has partnered with TELUS to develop resources for two online portals designed to help keep Canadian families and kids safe online; the TELUS WISE online educational program and the TELUS WISE footprint website.
Along with images of natural disasters and violence, one all-too-common news item that can be distressing to kids is reports of hate crimes. Seeing or hearing about hate-motivated assaults and vandalism of homes, cemeteries and places of worship in media, can lead to fear and anxiety in young people, especially if they belong to a vulnerable group. In many cases, the effect will be worse because news isn’t the only place Canadian kids see hate and racism: almost half see hateful content online at least once a month, and one in six sees it every day.
The Digital Citizenship Guide for Parents is designed to prepare parents and guardians for the conversations they should have with their children when they first start using digital devices.