STUFF LAUNCHES NZ NEWS PLATFORM MADE BY KIDS FOR KIDS
KEA Kids News makes current affairs engaging at an early age
New Zealand’s largest news site Stuff.co.nz has partnered on the launch of KEA Kids News, an innovative current affairs series made by kids, for kids – featuring big news stories that affect Kiwis of all ages, told through the eyes of children.
Named after the country’s native bird – the curious kea – the series sees young reporters peck through what’s making the news, and share their own take on it. Junior reporters help devise story angles, conduct interviews, and co-edit the seven-minute bulletins.
Funded by NZ on Air for HEIHEI children’s television, the videos are aimed at 7 to 11 year olds (primary school Year 2 to Year 6) and are posted twice a week on stuff.co.nz/KEA and HEIHEI.
“With storytelling at the heart of what we do, it was important for us to make current affairs relevant and accessible to young people too, helping them to learn and differentiate fact from fake news,” Stuff Deputy Editor Janine Fenwick, says.
“KEA Kids News is a safe way for tamariki to find out what is happening in their world. It provides whānau, caregivers and teachers a way to engage them in local and relevant current affairs bulletins they can trust and initiate conversations about stories in the media.
“We are already finding that our young news cubs have no filter and ask questions adults wouldn’t dare to. They may be young, but they are addressing some difficult topics in an engaging way.”
KEA Kids News is the brainchild of experienced children’s television producer, Luke Nola. His production company Luke Nola and Friends has been creating inspiring, educational TV formats since 1998, including the Emmy and BAFTA-nominated Let’s Get Inventin’, and Nanogirl and the Imaginauts.
Fenwick and Stuff’s head of video and audio Carol Hirschfeld, work closely with the KEA team to develop the news agenda each week, while Stuff’s many local newsrooms around New Zealand will provide support and mentoring on projects throughout the year.
Episodes already posted include what happens to guns in the Government’s buy-back scheme, insects as an alternative food source, inside a measles ward, bullying in skate parks, tackling children’s tooth decay and the primary school students who teach younger tamariki te reo Māori and sign language.
They have also featured lighter stories including behind the scenes at the New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults and the School of Rock stage show, to the geese poo causing havoc for Auckland Council and the primary school pupils rearing native eels.
KEA Kids News has been commissioned for a 48 week series, and is calling on teachers, parents and whānau, to nominate potential on-screen interviewers by emailing Fenwick on: firstname.lastname@example.org