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Why it’s important for children to read the news

Even if it were possible to protect our children from the news, should we?

The main aim of every parent is try to prepare their children for the world, as they grow in understanding and independence. We cannot protect them forever. But we can give them tools and information to navigate their way safely.

First News provides just that – a resource for an inquiring young mind that is unbiased and provides the background to stories that children might have heard about.

Children talk, and a simple misunderstanding about the meaning of a word or snippet of information overheard in the kitchen can become distorted and then relayed around the playground by lunchtime. Overblown fears about the likelihood of terrorist attacks and demonisation of political leaders or organisations can take hold in the absence of context.

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Why can the news be scary for children?

When the news pouring onto your screens is a daily dose of terrorist attacks, earthquakes, innocent civilians being showered with bombs or politicians behaving badly, you may be forgiven for not wanting to share it with your children.

Whether it’s on your phone, your tablet, your television screen or your newspaper, the news can throw up some big questions for parents about how or if to shield our children from it.

Even leaving the radio innocently playing in the kitchen or in the car can suddenly leave you running for the dial as the hourly news bulletin starts with a headline you don’t want your little ones to hear.

For younger children, an overheard news headline can be alarming and leave parents having to explain issues to children they perhaps were not ready to tackle. And for older children, who may glean information though their own media use, the exposure to sometimes shocking national and international events can be overwhelming and confusing.

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How to give children the right information.

So although it is important for children to become aware of some of the events happening in the world around them, for their own learning and development as a citizen in our society, it is vital that they get their information from a reliable source

In the era of fake news, where information on social media, accurate or not, goes rebounding around the world unchallenged in seconds, it is so important for children to understand that the source of their information must be a valid one, that is independent, adequately researched and balanced.

First News is a fully independent newspaper that allows children to read the news using language they can understand and providing all the background they need to learn about the world around them. This can help them to form their own opinions and ideas, which will be important to all of us when they become the adults of the future.

Perhaps even more importantly, First News tells the good news too, putting in perspective some of the more harrowing issues of the day. For many, 2017 was a particularly unsettling year, with huge political upheaval and change. But unlike many adult news outlets, First News reports on positive stories so that children can see that the world is a safe place where they can thrive and where goodness can and does prevail.

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