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Explaining the News

Nicky Cox, editor in chief at First News, wants to try to help our readers understand the news when scary events happen. After events such as terror attacks, it can be hard to understand what is happening in the world – and why. Here’s 7 tips you can use to help your children understand events like this:

1. Don’t cover up your feelings if you are scared. Don’t worry quietly inside. Talk to someone – adults who you know, love and trust – if you are worried about frightening news events.

2. When there is a big event in the news, lots of inaccurate information ends up on the internet, so try to avoid it. Make sure you get your news from a trusted place like First News newspaper, First News Live! (live.firstnews.co.uk) or BBC Newsround. Things that happen in the news will be talked about in the school playground or lunch hall, or in online chats. Better that you know the real facts, rather than hearing exaggerated or confused versions from other people. You need correct information, not misinformation.

3. Remember that terrorism has always been there – as far back as Guy Fawkes’ Gunpowder Plot in 1605. There were seven assassination attempts on Queen Victoria during her 63-year reign in the 1800s. For 30 years, Britain lived with bomb attacks from the IRA over the Northern Ireland troubles. But there is always a solution. Right now, Islamic State (known as IS or Daesh) and other terror groups are trying to frighten the world into doing what they want. But, they will be defeated. There will be a solution. In the meantime, children will continue going to school, parents will continue to go to work, families will continue to go to sports event, concerts and on holiday. Life continues.

4. Remember that events like large-scale terror attacks are extremely rare, which is why they are in the news. We haven’t seen a big explosive attack like the Manchester bombing, for example, in Britain since the London bombings in 2005 – many of you won’t even have been born because it was such a long time ago. The likelihood of being caught up in an event like this is so, so small, you can’t even do the sum to calculate the risk.

5. The police are doing all they can to make sure that you are safe. Thousands of public servants are working to try to stop terror attacks happening.

6. Remember, too, that there is much more good news than bad news happening. And that there are many more good people than bad people.

7. Hug your family a little bit closer and for a little bit longer.

Love is stronger than hate.

First News is a weekly children’s newspaper aimed at 7-14 year olds.