Television

Kids split over TV coverage of Iraq conflict

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NEW YORK: If adults across the globe are polarised by the ongoing Iraq conflict, can one expect anything different from kids?

The answer is no if one goes by the results of an online poll being conducted by Scholastic, the global children's publishing and media company, The question raised was whether the television channels are giving too much coverage to the Iraq conflict. 38,593 US students answered in the affirmative while 38,012 believed that the amount of television news coverage of the war with Iraq has been appropriate.

The online poll at Scholastic News (http://www.scholastic.com/news), a leading source on the web for age-appropriate, daily news content for kids, began on 24 March and has already received 76,605 responses. Kids can share their opinion on this subject until today.

Children with relatives in Iraq see the coverage as a way to keep in touch. However, a concern has been raised that kids too small to understand what is going on are exposed to war mongering images simply because of channel surfing.

Editor in Chief, Scholastic Classroom Magazines Rebecca Bondor says, "Our young readers feel that they need information on the unfolding events in Iraq. However, it's very important that parents and teachers seek out news sources created with their children's ages and sensitivities in mind, and that they also find a balance between keeping kids informed about world events and having them be bombarded with minute by minute televised reports.

We believe news about war, geared to school age children must have age-appropriate content. Scholastic's classroom magazines and news web site have always been a valuable resource for parents and teachers, delivering articles and information written for their kids' ages that foster discussions and address children's questions and concerns."

The Scholastic poll is not based on a scientifically designed sample of the student population. It is designed as an educational activity to encourage student thought and debate, and to give students an opportunity to express their opinions. The respondents are self-selected, based on teachers who want their classes to participate and students who want to participate individually.

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