The news item was the 'bear-spearing, death-cam' story from Alberta, the tv-version of which showed a man first impaling a baited bear with a spear and then, with video from a mobile camera attached to the spear, viewers observed the impaled bear writhing about and finally collapsing and dying. Lastly, the man was seen gloating in celebration at his kill, and then we learned how the event was being received, internationally.
Never mind that this man is being roundly criticized for his actions; imagine, if you can, how that news footage might have been received by a child < 7 years.
Maybe the child is a big fan of Winnie-the-Pooh or Paddington Bear, or is comforted in cuddling a favourite Teddie bear; maybe the child has had countless stories featuring bears read to him, maybe she remembers the special time she saw a live bear in the wild or at a zoo.
Such information about bears, like much cultural knowledge, has been nurtured instinctively in children over countless generations, with researchers recognizing how such information helps to guide children's future cognitive and emotional development.
In the case of this horrific story, young children who 'consumed' it via TV or radio news are surely upset and, in some cases, traumatized by it. Their neurology is just inadequate to fully comprehend and discern it, and the negative impact from this event may sustain for months and years. Maybe forever.
Choosing to broadcast this story - especially the televisual version - was a grossly irresponsible act, and news producers who made this decision should be repudiated.
Please sign the Choose News petition to help send the message to the CRTC and Canadian broadcasters to dial back the violent content of TV and radio newscasting to more accurately reflect the true nature of our society, and to help protect our most vulnerable population.