Developing on from my last post and the fact that the internet has allowed a different age group to be involved in the news and media this post will cover what it is like being a child of the internet age.
Have you ever seen a child reading a newspaper?
…Delivering it maybe but I can honestly say that I never, my brother never, any of my friends never and have never seen anyone under the age of 13 read a newspaper.
A magazine possibly, but for me it was usually for the pictures, quizzes and freebies that came with it.
Today, thanks to the internet children who aren’t of newspaper reading level age (which some are depending on the newspaper) can learn about the world through interactive websites, videos and much more.
According to the 2011 report by Sesame Workshop and the Joan Ganz Cooney Centre around 80% of children, in the US, ages 0-5, use the internet on a weekly basis.
From this statistic we can see that the internet is a huge content provider for those of young ages. Now with the rise of social networking sites and blogs we see a large youth audience using the internet – therefore focusing on young people and the internet is important as it can be big business for media organizations. Take Walt Disney for an extreme example!
The internet is now considered a learning method tool not just by teachers but by parents too. Time for Kids, Kids Post (a Washington Post branch of material), CBBC Newsround (a British BBC branch website) and DOGO news are all great examples of news interactive websites for children.
This type of information wasn’t child friendly, before the internet TV programs and child magazines were the main source of learning material for the younger ages. These were not as interactive as what is offered today and therefore attention span (just like adults when reading newspapers) can be short.
However letting your child loose on the internet can be a scary thought when statistics such as “34% of youth online saw sexual materials online that they did not want to see, including pictures of people naked or having sex,” Child Safety for Parents.
In terms of reporting and being a journalist in children’s news – I personally think that they need to keep coming up with different idea to keep kids amused so they keep coming back to the site.
CBBC Newsround also has a broadcast show where they direct children to their website telling them they have a certain game or challenge.
It is a huge and upcoming market and one where most ‘adult’ newspapers like the Washington Post are tapping into.
Click here to watch a CBBC Newsround broadcast