How should you explain the fight to a 6-year-old?
How many parts of the battlefield are transmitted to the living room? News editors everywhere face a balancing act in determining what to include in their war reporting. The dilemma is especially acute for those who compile reports for the most impressive but also the most curious television audience: children.
Newsround, the BBC program for ages six to 12, has more experience than most. On April 4 he completed half a century of daily bulletins, which in 1986 included Britain's first Challenger space disaster report.
The war footage has been carefully edited. "Newsround" shows the consequences of the attacks, but not the moment of the strike; Extensive images of destruction are used instead of disturbingly close-ups. People are not portrayed in severe anxiety. Reports often focus on children, as in recent packages showing Ukrainian refugees starting school in Poland or celebrating Purim in Israel. Reporting aims to provide "honest reasoning," says program editor Lewis James.
Everything has to be explained: viewers may not know who Vladimir Putin is or even what Russia is. Producers and presenters visit schools to try out newsletters and see what is being misunderstood.
It is tempting to protect young people from bad news. However, "children worry more when there is an information vacuum," Mr. James argues. Amber Williams, who edits the New York Times monthly supplement for children, adds that they still "experience all the things we as adults try to protect ourselves from."
Source: The Economist