My Expressions

Date : 3 February 2020

Kid safe news website | Child friendly newspaper
  • Experts' Views
  • Monica Majithia

Undoubtedly, news is a good way to stay updated on current affairs. It helps in critical thinking, forming objective opinions and participating intellectually in shaping the world. However,  with breaking sensational news streaming on televisions and in the absence of facts, one wonders if there are filters for ‘kid-safe-news’. As a result, parents are on constant look out for children friendly newspapers or news websites for kids.

Why do we need kid safe news?

Newspapers are dropped at our doorstep every morning, TV news channels or online news videos update us. But our children too are reading and watching the same news content that adults cringe at. The jarring news reporting, repetitive coverage, panel accusations and invalidated unnecessary information has become a commonality in our TRP-driven news environment. This indeed raises questions on how they impact our children. Kid safe news is, hence, important to make sure that children are aware of the current affairs without having to undergo the sensationalism, melodrama or emotional biases. Also, news that involve tragedies, violence, brutality in any way; need to be sensitively told to our children. 


A headline that directly states the number of people dead in a crash or violence, as the first news on a channel, newspaper or website, is not the best way to break the news to a child. Therefore intelligently curated child friendly newspapers and kid safe news is important and absolutely essential.

Why now, more than ever?

Two decades ago, news was broadcast only a couple of times during the day. It was easier to switch off the television, if there were reports that parents didn’t want their kids to watch. But shutting down smartphones, online media and 24/7 news channels seems to be a herculean task. It is in fact, rather impractical and almost near impossible. It is also not in the best interest of the children of the 21st century to stay away from news or information by force. After all, this is the reality of our times! Information change is rapid and a cut off from the internet and technology is not feasible. Therefore, a child friendly newspaper and kid safe news is the need of the hour. 

What is the child watching on the screen?

Children are spending more time on screens, be it television, laptops or mobile phones. But experts are beginning to identify the difference between screen time and screen experience. What is your child watching or reading on the screen? This is equally important as for how much time he or she watches it. This means that screen experience differs when a child reads or views adult content including news channels and websites versus online child friendly newspapers or news websites for children that cater to kid safe news. 

Here are some studies, which suggest the adverse impacts of age-inappropriate content:

  • Researches have also pointed out the psychological impact that non kid safe news can have on children, especially if they deal with violence. (see https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/why-we-worry/201206/the-psychological-effects-tv-news). Let’s refer to a report called ‘TV Coverage of tragedies:’ What is the impact on children?’ (https://www.indianpediatrics.net/aug2008/629.pdf). The authors’ emphasizes  that children are not ‘miniature adults’. Their brains are still developing and their understanding of the world is less sophisticated. It also questions the role of sensational media, which does not appreciate its negative influence of irresponsible reporting on the minds of children. 

Are there any online child friendly newspapers or age-appropriate news websites for children?

Parents do understand that there is a need for curated news for kids. But where do they find kid safe news free from sensationalism? Or news that serves kids with facts, knowledge and a sensitivity to the people and current happenings of the world? One of the best news websites for children, which also has an online child friendly newspaper, is Curious Times. The news here is apt for reading and viewing by kids. Furthermore, all news is graded according to the reading level and understanding of children. The graded news allows for age specific marking of news, thus ensuring that children receive information and news that fits their age group and level of understanding. 

What makes Curious Times different from other kid safe news platforms?

Curious Times is not only an online kid safe news website with a child friendly newspaper. It also aims at building key 21st Century Skills in children through daily news and information. Here is how Curious Times works in the best interest of our children:

  • Daily global news builds general knowledge on a variety of topics, professions, flora, fauna, climate, politics, Sustainable Development Goals, environment, sustainability, health, civic, financial and economic literacy and many more relevant global themes. The wide coverage of subjects in turn builds core life and work values of children like joy of learning, social consciousness, empathy, respect for self and others etc.
  • A weekly children friendly newspaper, gives the important stories of the week. This acts as a refresher to the daily users. It also comes handy during the general knowledge periods in schools.
  • The ‘My Expressions’ (ME) section on Curious Times encourages children to share their opinions and thoughts. They can do so without fear of judgment besides an opportunity to have their work published online. It builds the key 21st Century skills of critical thinking, creativity and communication.
  • Curious Times, every day, introduces a selection of new words with their meanings, jokes, tongue twisters and fun facts.
  • There is attention to detail on learning levels as per the school grades. The key points are highlighted in bullets and fun quiz ensures reinforcement of the concept learnt.
  • At the outset, there is no breaking news. This allows time to get sharp factual news and avoid fake news, spread through free social media applications.
  • There are not editorial biases and news are stripped off sensationalism with the aim of delivering honest facts. 

Why is Curious Times the safest online platform for your children?

The content both online and offline needs to be curated for children. There is loads of news, opinions, information shared freely in a world that is overflowing with gadgets and technology. Our children have an opportunity, as well as a risk. At any rate it is impossible for parents to review 100% of the content that they access. 

An online child friendly newspaper or a news website for kids is a perfect way for children to use the digital space for their progress and understanding of various global and general knowledge topics. Kid safe news is important in today’s world because of increased access and spread of reporting mediums. Instead of succumbing to sensational news, let us try and keep our children updated through kid safe news. And this is where Curious Times steps in. An online news application with a  child friendly newspaper it helps kids discover the  world of news and information but, without the layers of emotionalism and negative reporting that is prevalent today. 

Curious Times is our opportunity to convert the boon of Internet and technology for our children’s benefit  as against the very present risk of unfiltered free online content.

 

Monica Majithia

New Delhi

Monica Majithia is a Psychologist, Counsellor, Life Skills Coach and a Trainer. She has published several papers on self-esteem and fear of success in relation to the social background in teenagers.
She is currently working with Sheroes.