KIDS AND THE NEWS
All of this intrudes at the harmless global of kids. If, as psychologists
say, kids are like sponges and absorb everything that is going on around them,
how profoundly does looking TV information without a doubt have an effect on them? How carefully do
parents want to be in monitoring the glide of news into the house, and how can
they discover a technique that works?
To solution those questions, we grew to become to a panel of seasoned anchors, Peter
Jennings, Maria Shriver, Linda Ellerbee, and Jane Pauley–every having confronted the
complexities of elevating their watch republican debate online very own inclined youngsters in a news-saturated
Picture this: 6:30 p.M. After an onerous day at the office, Mom is busy making
the front of dinner. She parks her 9-12 months-vintage daughter and 5-yr-old front of the watch republican debate TV.”Play Nintendo till dinner’s ready,” she instructs the babies, who,
as a substitute, begin flipping channels.
- Tom Brokaw on “NBC News Tonight,” declares that an Atlanta gunman
has killed his wife, daughter, and son, all 3 with a hammer, earlier than happening
a taking pictures rampage that leaves nine dead.
On “World News Tonight,” Peter Jennings reports that a jumbo jetliner with
greater than 300 passengers crashed in a spinning steel fireball at a Hong Kong
On CNN, there’s a report approximately the earthquake in Turkey, with 2,000
human beings killed.
On the Discovery channel, there’s a timely unique on hurricanes and the
terror they devise in youngsters. Hurricane Dennis has already struck, luxury watch Floyd is
Finally, they see a local news record about a roller coaster accident at a New
Jersey entertainment park that kills a mother and her 8-12 months-vintage daughter.
Nintendo was never this riveting.
“Dinner’s prepared!” shouts Mom, unaware that her children can be terrified
by way of this menacing potpourri of TV news.
What’s wrong with this photo?
“There’s a LOT incorrect with it, but it is now not that effortlessly fixable,” marine anchors for sale notes Linda
Ellerbee, the writer, and host of “Nick News,” the award-prevailing information
application geared for youngsters a while eight-thirteen, airing on Nickelodeon biblical meaning of anchor.
“Watching blood and gore on TV is NOT suitable for children and it would not do
plenty to beautify the lives of adults either,” says the anchor, who strives to
inform children approximately global activities without terrorizing them. “We’re into
stretching kids’ brains and there may be not anything we wouldn’t cowl,” such as
latest applications on euthanasia, the Kosovo disaster, prayer in faculties, anchor marine e-book-
banning, the demise penalty, and Sudan slaves.
But Ellerbee emphasizes the need of parental supervision, protective
kids from unfounded fears. “During the Oklahoma City bombing, there
have been terrible pictures of kids being hurt and killed,” Ellerbee remembers. “Kids
wanted to know in the event that they were secure of their beds. In research carried out with the aid of
Nickelodeon, we observed out that children discover the information the scariest issue
“Whether it is the Gulf War, the Clinton scandal, a downed jetliner, or what
occurred in Littleton, you need to reassure your children, again and again,
that they’re going to be OK–that the motive this story is news is that IT
ALMOST NEVER HAPPENS. The news is the exception…Nobody goes on the air
thankfully and reviews what number of planes landed competently television Samsung!
“My activity is to place the data into an age-suitable context and decrease
Anxieties. Then it is really up to the mother and father to monitor what their kids watch
and speak it with them”
Yet a new look at of the role of media in the lives of kids conducted via
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation well-known shows that 95% of the country’s children
a while 8-18 are watching TV without their parent’s gift.
How does Ellerbee view the standard state of affairs of the harried mom television sales above?
“Mom’s taking a beating right here. Where’s Dad?” Ellerbee asks.Perhaps at work,
or residing one by one from Mom, or absent altogether.
“Right. Most Moms and Dads are operating as hard as they are able to due to the fact we
stay in a society where one profit just doesn’t reduce it anymore,”
NBC News correspondent Maria Shriver, the mom of 4–Katherine amazon flat screen televisions,
thirteen, Christina, 12, Patrick, 10, and Christopher, 6–agrees with Ellerbee: “But
aren’t the usage of the TV as a babysitter because they’re out getting manicures!”
says the 48-12 months-antique anchor.
“Those mothers are struggling to make ends meet and they do it due to the fact
they need assistance. I do not suppose children could be looking [as much TV] if their
dad and mom have been home organizing a hint football recreation.
“When I need the TV as a babysitter,” says Shriver, who leaves exact TV-
viewing commands at the back of whilst journeying, “I put on a secure video. I don’t thoughts
that my youngsters have watched “Pretty Woman” or “My Best Friend’s Wedding”
3,000 times. I’d be extra anxious if they watched an hour of neighborhood news.That
could scare them. They might sense: ‘Oh, my God, is someone going to return
in and shoot me in my bedroom?'”
In a pass to supervise her personal children greater closely seeing that her husband,
Arnold Schwarzenegger became Governor, Shriver
scaled returned her workload as Contributing Anchor to Dateline NBC and set up
her office at home: “You can in no way be vigilant enough with your youngsters,” she
says, “because watching violence on TV, in reality, has a huge effect on
youngsters–whether or not it’s TV information, films, or cartoons.”
This view is shared by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry, which states: “TV is an effective impact in growing value
structures and shaping conduct…Studies locate that youngsters may grow to be immune
to the horror of violence; steadily take delivery of violence as a manner to clear up troubles;
and inn to anti-social and aggressive behavior, imitating the violence they
Although there are no policies approximately looking TV in 49% of the kingdom’s
families, TV-looking on the Schwarzenegger domestic is sort of totally
“We have a blanket rule that my kids do now not watch any TV at all during the
week,” she notes, “and having a TV in their bedrooms has in no way been an
choice. I have sufficient problem getting them to do their homework!” she states
with amusing. “Plus the half hour of studying they have to do every night.
According to the Kaiser survey, Shriver’s household is an obtrusive exception to
the guideline. “Many children have their personal TV’s, VCR’s and video games in their
bedroom,” the have a look at notes. Moreover, youngsters a long time 8-18, in reality, spend an
common of three hours and sixteen minutes watching TV each day; only 44 minutes
analyzing; 31 minutes the use of the pc; 27 mins playing video games;
and a mere thirteen minutes using the Internet.
“My kids,” Shriver explains, “get domestic at 4 p.M., have a 20-minute destroy,
then pass properly into homework or after-faculty sports activities. Then, I’m a massive believer in
having a circle of relatives time for dinner. Some of my fondest reminiscences are of sitting at the
dinner desk and listening to my dad and mom, 4 brothers, and my grandmother,
Rose. We failed to watch the information.
“After dinner these days, we play a game, then my children are in bed, studying
their books. There’s no time in that day for any TV, except on weekends, while
they’re allowed to look at a Disney video, Sesame Street, Barney, The Brady
Bunch, or Pokemon.”
Beyond secure enjoyment, Shriver has removed totally the choice of her
Youngsters looking information events unfolding live on TV: “My kids,” she notes, “do
no longer watch any TV information, apart from Nick News,” as a substitute imparting her children
with Time for Kids, [Teen Newsweek is also available], Highlights, and
newspaper clippings mentioned over dinner.
“No difficulty have to be off-limits,” Shriver concludes, “but you should clear out
The news in your children.”
ABC’s Peter Jennings, who reigns over “World News Tonight,” the state’s
most-watched nighttime newscast emphatically disagrees with a censored
approach to information-looking: “I actually have youngsters–Elizabeth is now 24 and
Christopher is 21– and they had been allowed to look at as a great deal TV news and
data every time they wanted,” says the anchor. A firm believer in
youngsters know-how the sector around them, he adapted his bestselling e-book,
The Century, for kids ages 10 and older in The Century for Young People.
No disadvantage to youngsters watching the news? “I don’t know of any disadvantage and I’ve
notion approximately it normally. I used to fear approximately my kids’ publicity to
violence and overt sex inside the movies. Like most dad and mom, I discovered that although
they have been exposed to violence sooner than I would have preferred, I do not feel
they have got been stricken by it. The jury’s nevertheless out on the intercourse.
“I have uncovered my children to the violence of the arena–to the bestiality of
man–from the very beginning, at age 6 or 7. I did not try and disguise it. I by no means
worried approximately putting a curtain among them and truth, due to the fact I in no way felt
my children might be broken via being uncovered to violence IF they
understood the context wherein it took place. I might talk to my youngsters approximately the
vulnerability of youngsters in wartime–the fact that they are innocent pawns–
and about what we should do as a circle of relatives to make the sector a greater peaceful
Jennings firmly believes that coddling kids are a mistake: “I’ve by no means
talked all the way down to my kids, or to youngsters period. I constantly communicate UP to them and
my newscast is appropriate for youngsters of any age.”
Yet the 65-yr-vintage anchor frequently gets letters from irate dad and mom: “They’ll
say: ‘How dare you to put that on at 6:30 while my kids are watching?’ My
solution is: ‘Madam, it is now not my trouble. That’s YOUR hassle. It’s
truly up to the parent to reveal the drift of news into the home.”
Part of directing this go with the flow is popping it off altogether at meal-time, says
Jennings, who believes circle of relatives dinners are sacrosanct. He is appalled that the
TV is turned on throughout food in fifty-eight% of the country’s households, this in accordance
to the Kaiser take a look at.
“Watching TV throughout dinner is unforgivable,” he exclaims, explaining that
he always insisted that his family wait till he arrived home from anchoring
the information. “You’re darn proper they waited…Even if my kids were tiny, they
in no way ate until 7:30 or 8 pm. Then we’d sit and not using a music, no TV. Why
waste any such golden possibility? Watching TV at mealtime robs the circle of relatives of
the essence of the dinner, which is communion and trade of ideas. I mean,
God, if the dinner desk is something, it is an area to analyze manners and
appreciation for 2 of the best matters in life–food and drink.”
Jennings is also unequivocal in his view of junk TV and believes parking
kids on the tube creates dull minds: “I assume the use of TV as a babysitter is a
terrible idea because the rattling tv may be very narcotic, drug-like. Mindless
TV makes for passive humans–and it is a distraction from homework!
“My youngsters have been allowed to observe simplest a half an hour of amusement
TV in keeping with night time–and they never had tvs of their bedrooms.It’s a conscious
choice I made as a figure not to tempt them…Too seductive…”
Adds Ellerbee: “TV is seductive and is supposed to be. The difficult, clear truth is
that when kids are watching TV, they are now not doing something else!”
Indeed, in step with the National Institute on Out-of-School Time and the
Office of Research Education Consumer Guide, TV plays a bigger role in
children’s lives now than ever before. Kids watch TV a mean of14 to 22
hours in step with the week, which bills for at least 25 percent of their free time.
“Dateline NBC” Anchor Jane Pauley, intensely private, declined an interview
to speak about how she and her husband, cartoonist Garry Trudeau (“Doonesbury”)
take care of TV-looking with their three teenagers, of whom are fraternal twins.
But in a written reaction, she agreed that children want to be better covered
from the onslaught of violence: “I was a visitor at a public standard school
not long in the past, and changed into invited to peek in on a fourth-grade class on ‘current
events.’ The mission was to look at the news and write about certainly one of
the memories. Two youngsters picked the deadly attack on a baby with the aid of a pit bull and the
different wrote about an infant who’d hanged herself with a belt! They’d all watched
the worst blood and gore ‘News at 11’ station in town. The trainer gave no
hint that she became as appalled as I was. My response changed into to assist the faculty gets
subscriptions to “Time for Kids” and “My Weekly Reader.” People need to be
higher information clients. And tabloid TV is very unhealthy for kids.”
On this point, Ellerbee effectively agrees:”I truly do accept as true with the first
modification STOPS at your the front door. You are the boss at home and dad and mom
have each right to screen what their youngsters watch. What’s even higher is
watching with them and beginning conversations approximately what they see.If your
toddler is looking something terribly violent, sit down and DEFUSE it. Talking
makes the ghosts run…And children can smash through their scared emotions.”Need to Your infant Watch television news? Sudden evaluations of top Anchors.