CBC Kids News: Helping kids be safer and savvier online

24th January 2024
CBC/Radio-Canada is playing an invaluable role in educating children about the online environment and instilling strong media literacy skills, says the corporation’s CEO and President, Catherine Tait. 
CBC/Radio-Canada building Montreal. Credit: Kristian Porter

This op-ed was originally published on and CBC/Radio-Canada

By Catherine Tait, CEO and President of CBC/Radio-Canada

Our children are growing up in a polarized digital world — one sometimes full of anger, intolerance and, too often, manipulation and toxic misinformation. Our children are growing up in a society where, if left unchecked, these forces may threaten our democratic way of life. We need to ensure our children have the tools to understand what is going on around them on the devices that they look at each and every day. Digital media literacy is the key.

This matters for our kids, and it matters for our public discourse. Misinformation and disinformation have already taken an incredible toll on our politics, our society, and even our personal relationships. By instilling strong media literacy skills in the next generation, we are investing in healthier and better informed conversations for the future.

That’s why CBC launched CBC Kids News in 2018, and Radio-Canada launched MAJ in 2019. It’s real news produced by real kids, so that they get the news that matters most to them, from their own perspective. And it helps them develop critical thinking skills and be safer and savvier online.

The public broadcaster is the only media organization offering kids news and information produced by them, kids from across the country.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, CBC Kids News became acutely relevant. It helped kids make sense of a world that had suddenly become more frightening, and provided them with accurate and age-appropriate health information. Most notably, the prime minister answered questions from kids across the country about COVID-19 in a one-of-a-kind CBC Kids News special.

If kids are talking about it on the playground or at the dinner table, we want CBC Kids News to provide context and a fuller picture of the issue. That’s why it’s delivered through Curio, CBC/Radio-Canada’s service to schools and libraries. And it’s available on the platforms youth use: Youtube, Instagram and even the video game Minecraft.

The CBC Kids News 2020 Minecraft Back-to-School Check-In brought together hundreds of kids to creatively express their feelings about returning to school during a pandemic and to ask questions of a medical expert. This event won a 2022 Canadian Screen Award for best interactive production.

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Because CBC Kids News follows the standards of professional journalism, kids learn what impartial and balanced reporting with fact-checking looks like while they learn about Canadian politicsartificial intelligence or mental health. Consuming responsible journalism today will help them become more discerning audience members in the future.

In just five years, CBC Kids News has had an incredible impact. The videos on its YouTube channel have been viewed eight million times. And CBC Kids content on our website and on CBC Gem have a monthly average of more than two million visits.1 Our explainer on the word “Indigenous” has been viewed more than one million times alone, and is CBC Kids News’s second-most watched video.

All this confirms what every parent knows — kids want to learn about the world around them. And the public broadcaster is the only media organization offering kids news and information produced by them, kids from across the country.

With our emphasis on providing educational content and developing kids’ media literacy skills, CBC Kids News and MAJ are a natural fit in the classroom. Last year, CBC Kids News and MAJ together reached thousands of students with media literacy workshops where students discuss current news stories and how to spot fake news. Students also work together to create a news story, putting into practice what they’ve learned.

CBC Kids News’s world in Minecraft, Reporting 101: Misinformation, offers an even more immersive way for kids to learn about journalism. In this video game, students play reporters trying to verify a rumour at their local school, learning about misinformation and disinformation and how to identify quality sources of information along the way.

With all these creative ways of informing and educating kids, it’s no wonder that CBC Kids News and MAJ have won more than 20 media awards. We’re proud of this. But we’re prouder still of our work to engage the next generation of audiences in the standards of fair, balanced, well-researched journalism.

This will determine the future of our democracy — making sure our children have the tools to tell real news from fake, accurate information from misinformation, and fact-based media from media with an agenda. And it will ensure that the benefits of our increasingly connected world outweigh the risks.

Source: Adobe Analytics April 1, 2023 – August 31 2023 (, and CBC Gem (Kids))

Catherine Tait

About the author

Catherine Tait is the President & CEO, CBC/Radio-Canada, and Global Task Force Chair. CBC/Radio-Canada is a member of the Public Media Alliance.

It was originally published on CBC/Radio-Canada.