When we launched the UK's only newspaper for children, First News, (nearly 10 years ago in May 2006) we were ridiculed.
The adult media said, if there had been a need for a children's newspaper, there would already be one. Others commented that, even if the odd child or two were interested in the news, they would read it on the internet. This was the digital generation, after all!
When we started to have some success with our printed newspaper, there was still some scoffing. "Our readers were probably only reading the stories about animals or popstars," they said.
I knew this wasn't true then. Today, it is even less so. The digital age has made the world a much smaller place and children are passionately engaged with what goes on in it - from climate change, to terrorism and, right now, the refugee crisis.
Kids get it. They get it totally. Every week we poll them to get their views on a story covered in First News. This week we asked them what they thought about Save The Children's call to let 3,000 unaccompanied child refugees in Europe, into Britain. We had the quickest ever response to a poll (and it was nothing to do with animals or popstars!). Overnight, 2,275 children registered their vote with 93% of them agreeing with Save The Children.
As well as their votes, many children left comments to express their thoughts. Here are a few of them.
Aalia, age 11 - These children are coming to England desperate for shelter. We should help them. We would all want to be welcomed into a country. We should let them in because, if we were them, we would want to be let in.
Poojha, age 11 - I think that we should take in refugee children because it's only fair that they are treated like proper children. They need safety like us. Just because they're refugee children doesn't mean that they should be thought of less. We are all equal.
Shreya, age 7 - Yes they should SAVE THE CHILDREN. We should try to help as much as we can. Imagine if you were a child in this situation and this is happening to you.
Rebecca, age 13 - There are so many children who have seen such horrifying things who need homes and I'm sure that there's lots of couples or families who would take them in. Some of those children will be very young and I couldn't be content knowing that we wouldn't help.
All so clear in their thoughts. Yet, for me, this was the most poignant...
Francesca, age 11 - These children are the new generation. By giving them a new start you are giving them a new future.
Oh, if only children were running the country!
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