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Letter from the Editor: One Year Later

One year ago today, a mob in Washington DC pushed past barricades and police to storm the US Capitol. Their reported mission: To stop the counting of electoral votes that would certify the 2020 Presidential Election. The violence was shocking, the images indelible, and the headlines to this day: divisive. For all the emotion that day continues to provoke, it also provides an opportunity for us to share a message about KidNuz and the philosophy behind it.

Our podcast and our platform is nonpartisan. That isn’t just a feel-good adjective on the front of the KidNuz website. It is the core of what we built three and a half years ago. We have no desire, consciously or subconsciously, to sway our young listeners in one direction or the other. Our only goal is to get them interested in news by making current events understandable, providing both sides, and hopefully, tapping into enough curiosity that they start asking questions. Kids who ask why today.. will be critical thinkers tomorrow. That is the beginning, middle and end of what we’re hoping for.

I played today's podcast (1/7/21) to get my fifth graders on the same page with the breaking news. We then had a community circle (virtual of course) to share things we were thinking, feeling, or wondering about ethics. Your podcast was just the right amount of accurate, unbiased, information to get us started!

To say covering the news last January was a challenge would be an understatement. But it wasn’t the management of unprecedented, rapid-fire, supercharged events that taxed us. We’re built for that; my team and I have decades of experience writing and reporting in real-time on everything from the trial of OJ Simpson to the impeachment of Bill Clinton, The Oklahoma City Bombing to 9/11 and the Bush-Gore election. We know news. We are committed to fairness. We have our own kids that we want to inform yet protect, the same way we do yours.

Fortunately, most of our viewers think we succeeded.

But not everyone did.

From the editorial position of KidNuz, there was no question, then or now, that we had to include the storming of The Capitol. Carefully, of course, with KidNuz kid gloves, but covered nonetheless. So many other stories in this world are hard no’s for us, but this… this was history-in-the-making. This was a hard yes.

Parents old enough will remember the phrase “too big to fail” in relation to the 2008 economic crisis. The events in DC on January 6th, 2021 were, in our opinion, too big to ignore, too important not to include. Like most stories that garner wall-to-wall media coverage, kids were going to hear about it — with or without KidNuz. Our job is to make sure that if and when they turn to us, what they get is nothing more than the verifiable truth, written in an age-appropriate way, and cross-checked for neutrality. If you'd like to hear how we handled those events again, or maybe for the first time, click here.

At the end of the day, we believe it’s important that kids know what’s going on in Washington DC and we will continue to include those stories from time to time. We also know they’re much more interested in hearing cool science news, the latest on their sports heroes, and the good they can all do and be in the world. Rest assured, history-making events aside, we totally agree and strive to oblige.

Ro Thomas Schwarz



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