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Thursday, January 7,2016

News For Kids

By Mort Crim  

At a recent editorial meeting of a popular French newspaper, a group of editors wrestled with a difficult decision about what the next day’s lead story should be.

On the one hand, there was an extremely important story about an upcoming European Union election. On the other hand, there was a cute little story about a bear at the zoo.

They went with the story about the bear. Obviously, the Mon Quotidien newspaper is not your typical newspaper. And its editorial staff is not your typical editorial staff.

Today’s thought:

The news isn’t just a collection of facts… it’s a collection of choices.

In fact, the content of the daily newspaper and its sister publications – which sell more than 200,000 copies a day in France – is determined by children, who also are its target audience. Adults write and edit the stories, but which stories make the cut is up to elementary school children chosen each week from schools around France. And sometimes, that means that bears and zoos trump and zoos trump European Union elections.

As adults, we might be amused by the ways in which children determine what counts as news. But as important as it is for us adults to stay tuned to the really big events that shape our complicated and dangerous world, it’s just as important to remember that no version of the news can give us the whole story.


National radio broadcaster and author of seven books, including Second Thoughts, shares his essays, which are like the voice of an old friend - kind, encouraging and filled with gentle wisdom. To learn more about Mort Crim and hear a daily “Second Thought,” visit


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