Our international jury chose 12 laureates for the 2021 edition (five gold awards and seven silver awards) as champions in providing children with excellent coverage of the COVID-19 pandemic in an amazing variety of ways. 

We've provided resources (cases and videos) so you can learn how those winners  did it.

2021 Laureates


The JOURNALISM AWARD
pandemic news for children

GOLD AWARDS

News-O-Matic (USA)

Die Zeit (Germany)

Kompas.com (Indonesia)

The Straits Times (Singapore)

Børneavisen (Denmark)

SILVER AWARDS

CBC Kids News (Canada)

Kid Scoop (USA)

RTV Infodrom (Slovenia)

NBC Nightly News: Kids Edition (USA)

Teaching Kids News (Canada)

First News (United Kingdom)

SVT Lilla Aktuellt (Sweden),

COMING SOON

Conversations with the laureates about how and why they do what they do and ways you can try it, too.

AS EXPECTED,
AN ASTOUNDING ARRAY OF EXCELLENCE

“We already know that producers of news for children represent the best that journalism has to offer in so many ways. Amid the uncertainty of a global emergency, these highly trusted sources provided their young audiences with as much clarity and as many solutions as could be had, all of it in accessible formats and with phenomenal audience engagement and interactivity.”

-- Dr. Aralynn Abare McMane, Director, Global Youth & News Media

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GOLD AWARD

NEWS-O-MATIC (USA)

News-O-Matic, the global interactive daily news operation, produces five stories per day in English, French, Spanish and Arabic at different levels of reading for children ages 6 to 14. It produced more than 500 stories about COVID-19. Coverage focused on the positive but never strayed far from the realities. For example, News-O-Matic featured children all over the world who were making a difference and also gave “junior reporters” the chance to interview science and medical experts about the tough facts and fiction they were seeing elsewhere. Children responded, sending thousands of drawings, questions, comments and words of gratitude.

OUR JURY SAID

News-O-Matic can be very proud of its enormous impact.  We love how the team offered grade appropriate, easily accessible, high quality content for children and gave them the chance to interview scientists and other people to whom they would usually never have access. (And it was good for those being interviewed!) 

THE DETAILS
A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

GOLD AWARD

DIE ZEIT LEO KIDS PAGE (GERMANY)

The LEO-Kid's Page of the weekly newspaper DIE ZEIT initiated a joint art-project with the International Museum of Children’s Art in Oslo, Norway, to create a virtual and physical global #kidspaintcorona exhibit. More than 5500 pieces of art from 64 countries were received. The children taking part were between 2 and 18 years old. Some artwork appeared in DIE ZEIT (print), in ZEIT Online and in other newspapers and on websites worldwide. News organization partners were The Washington Post (USA), News-O-Matic (US and France), Joca newspaper (Brazil), Anorak (UK), Le Journal des Enfants (France), Mi Super Diario ( Latin America), which received special commendations for their contribution to the initiative.  Most of the artwork can still be seen on the website of the museum.

OUR JURY SAID

This truly global endeavor perfectly shows the impact of institutional collaboration in giving a voice to children who, in spite of living apart, were united by a common theme. We were blown away by the stunning and imaginative artwork. This is totally worth replicating locally.

THE DETAILS 

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

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GOLD AWARD

KOMPAS.COM (INDONESIA)

Kompas.com’s VIK (Visual Interaktif Kompas) produced Viron, a series that featured a six-episode webtoon and a highly gamified news quiz to help children understand both the science and social impact of the pandemic. The content attracted teachers and students and also at least 50 000 adult readers, many of whom reported that they found the content clearer and more interesting than coverage aimed at them.

OUR JURY SAID

Wow! We loved the idea to use webcomics and storytelling in vernacular language to share an important message. This innovative and thoughtful campaign featured collaboration as a key to its success within Kompas itself and with freelancers, teachers plus new donor partners, including the National Geographic Society, which financed a last set of webtoons.

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

 GOLD AWARD

STRAITS TIMES LITTLE RED DOT (SINGAPORE)

The Straits Times Schools team  took a multifaceted approach to the pandemic in its Little Red Dot subscription-based publication with content that empowered its 10- to 12-year-old readers to play a role in fighting misinformation and spreading awareness within their families and communities.  That content often used humor to make it memorable and focused on using subtle cues and nudges to encourage children to share positive thoughts and actions. A three-part “Choose your Own Adventure”  game taught about the impact of small choices one makes. During two months at the height of the pandemic, free distribution of content meant that Little Red Dot reached at least 48,000 pupils from 175 primary schools, a 98 percent market penetration.

 

OUR JURY SAID

We love that The Straits Times maintained a wry touch while promoting social resilience and viewed children as powerful ambassadors of health in their families. The “Choose  your own adventure” game was a truly innovative way to explain right and wrong choices without preaching. Congratulations on getting it just right!

THE DETAILS 

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

 

THE VIDEO

GOLD AWARD

BøRNEAVISEN (DENMARK)

Børneavisen, a weekly print edition for 9- to 12-year-olds from Denmark’s JP/Politiken Hus, used a new app to help it become the children’s voice for that country in the massive media coverage of the pandemic. Armed with requests from readers for clarification, child reporters worked with professional journalists to question people in power. The effort also included an exclusive interview with the prime minister. To make sure the information was circulated as widely as possible, the publisher sent free copies to 300,000 Danish households and, in a special campaign, a further 10,000 free copies to families while at their summer homes.

OUR JURY SAID

Congratulations to the team for their innovation and the empowerment of their audience to be able, themselves, to curate and create the news they want. This is not only a key aspect of children’s rights governance, it’s good business. We think this project offers real inspiration in engaging youth as true partners and stakeholders. Well done!

THE DETAILS 

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

SILVER AWARD

CBC KIDS NEWS (CANADA)

CBC Kids News, the Canadian public broadcaster’s news program for 9- to 12-year-olds, had 15-year-old Saara Chaudry, instead of an adult, deliver short, clear, trustworthy and factual explainers from her home on a variety of subjects related to COVID-19. What was to be a one-off show turned into 26 episodes after children emailed thousands of questions.  The series has had approximately 100,000 views on YouTube. Focus groups and testing made clear that video was the medium children looked to when seeking answers to the subjects that mattered most to them. After the success of the COVID-19 series, the Kids News team plans to expand the video explainer format across a variety of subjects and build a library of timely and evergreen content that can be used on multiple formats, as stand-alone pieces as well as videos used to provide additional context when needed to further explain the complex issues that arise in the news.

OUR JURY SAID

What started as a one-hit wonder has turned into a star. This series was inspiring,  forward-thinking and can easily be replicated in other settings. It’s great to see the power that video explainers can have for youth and how the demand for it allowed for production of them to continue. We also like how you included written posts to accompany the videos on your site to provide extra context. We hope your editorial team can expand to include even more young people!

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO
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SILVER AWARD

KID SCOOP (USA)

Kid Scoop News, the monthly newspaper for children in California, created and published a 24-page Coronavirus coloring and activity booklet in English and Spanish in May 2020 and distributed a total 70,000 copies at no cost through food distribution programs, family service centers, libraries, schools and medical clinics. Children could explore how their lives had changed at school and at home and about how their feelings had changed as the pandemic progressed. The company’s more extensive Kid Scoop clients -- 300 community newspapers throughout North America -- included a 2-page version in their print editions adding hundreds of thousands of readers -- and made it available (still) as a free download in both Spanish and English. Related activities included a Virus Education Mask Project with the local branch of Rotary International with the results posted at businesses .

OUR JURY SAID

We love that 70 000 copies were disseminated for free to family service centers, food distribution programs, libraries, schools and medical clinics. It was an awesome way to give children something meaningful to do and express their creativity while also learning about the social measures put in place to combat the virus. We think you should get a mask producer to use some of the designs!

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

SILVER AWARD

RTV INFODROM (SLOVENIA)

The public broadcaster pivoted the focus of Infodrom, its weekly children’s news show,  to create Izodrom, a new show that featured a more interactive, daily news format and educational content during the height of the pandemic there in Spring 2020.. Content focused on answering children's questions about the pandemic, including those from children in Slovenia's wide diaspora who helped make clear the global nature of the pandemic, as did content from other broadcasters who were members of the European Broadcasting Union (EBU). The show received more than 100 questions a day and used video content generated by young viewers.  One special segment had the country’s education minister answer children’s questions just before school was to start, with young viewers rating her answers.

OUR JURY SAID

Kudos to the team for producing interactive content quickly to respond to children needing answers NOW! This was an incredible redirection of resources that perhaps only a public broadcaster can harness, a move that fantastically served your young audience. We love the creative ways you used to produce content!

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

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SILVER AWARD

NBC NIGHTLY NEWS: KIDS EDITION (USA)

Shortly after the pandemic hit in early 2020, leading U.S. journalist Lester Holt and the team at NBC Nightly News created its Kids Edition. It debuted online that April and quickly became a powerhouse resource that NBC now also broadcasts on some Saturday mornings, prime time for child viewing. The show offers reports based mostly on children’s questions from network correspondents all over the world. Its  “Ask The Doc” segment features medical correspondent Dr. John Torres. An “Inspiring Kids” series spotlights children who are helping their communities.

OUR JURY SAID

Bravo for a fantastic commitment from a major commercial broadcaster to dedicate such substantial resources to prime-time news for children. Kudos to NBC and Lester Holt’s top production team (made up of mostly awesome women, we have learned) for successfully concocting this wonderful show and to NBC’s global network of correspondents for providing such rich, diverse content.

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

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SILVER AWARD

TEACHING KIDS NEWS (CANADA)

Teaching Kids News, a free digital only service based in Toronto that targets children ages 7 to 13, published a series, One Good Thing, featuring 19 stories over 10 weeks that focused on something happening in the world that was funny or inspirational with no pressure for children to take action, just to read and enjoy. The series also showcased freelance Canadian illustrators who donated their work. The feature attracted 50% more than the usual page views. Hard news about the pandemic continued, usually focusing on an angle that offered hope,  as well as the more challenging news, such as a story about the George Floyd murder by a police officer in the United States. Each news story included “Think and Discuss” questions to encourage critical thinking and links to related information.

OUR JURY SAID

We love the thought process behind the creation of “One Good Thing” as it is important to also focus on the positives in such difficult times, especially for children. We were not surprised at all that children flocked to it and we are delighted to see you have extended the project.

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

SILVER AWARD

FIRST NEWS (UNITED KINGDOM)

First News, a weekly newspaper for 7- to -14-year-olds, created engaging resources for both teachers and students that included a weekly online video in cooperation with local health officials and special features that gave children a fresh perspective on pandemic news, such as stories from other countries about how their peers were faring and a “Local Heroes” feature that invited children to nominate people around them who were making a difference. In consultation with government, it created special pages to ensure children were updated on the latest Coronavirus developments, guidance and advice.  Explainer videos put COVID-19 in context, including with other pandemics throughout history.  First News made content available for free to parents and teachers worldwide during the height of the pandemic and, thanks to these efforts, First News, which already had a combined digital and print readership of 2.6 million children, gained 25,000 new home subscriptions, 4,000 new school subscriptions and launched a digital international edition January 2021.

OUR JURY SAID

First News did a truly excellent job in ensuring that children were both informed and reassured with coverage that was engaging, balanced and accessible to all.

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK

THE VIDEO

SILVER AWARD

SVT LILLA Aktuellt (SWEDEN)

Lilla Aktuellt, the Swedish public broadcaster’s children’s news operation, did its coverage from a children’s perspective with high interactivity. Using its audience interaction app, it collected questions from children that its journalists then asked the prime minister. “Mission: At Home” offered innovative challenges each week with children sending in clips of those activities that they had completed. Its “Corona Dictionary” offered funny videos to explain serious words. For example, check out the meaning of “quarantine” (karantän, in Swedish). 

OUR JURY SAID

Lilla Aktuellt made fantastic use of multiple platforms and methods to engage its young audience during the pandemic.  We particularly loved the Corona Dictionary and the press conference with the prime minister.

THE DETAILS

A DOWNLOADABLE PDF DECK