Linda Ellerbee hosts 9/11 anniversary TV special for kids, wins praise

Linda Ellerbee, a veteran broadcast journalist, presents a Nickelodeon look at Sept. 11, 2001, made for children who were too young to remember. Most critics say Linda Ellerbee takes the right approach.

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    In this 2006 file photo, "Nick News" host Linda Ellerbee(l.) leads a discussion of a show topic with kids.
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Thursday night, the children's cable network Nickelodeon presented a special version of 'Nick News with LInda Ellerbee,' entitled 'What Happened? The story of September 11, 2001.'

According to reviews of the program, it tells the story of what happened in New York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa., so that children too young to remember, or not even born, could better understand that day in US history.

And most reviewers say Ellerbee, executive producer of the show, did a great job.

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Matt Roush of TVGuide.com said, "Essential TV, highly recommended for families to watch together."

In a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette review with the headline 'Linda Ellerbee takes right approach in 9/11 special,' Maria Sciullo writes, "Linda Ellerbee is the calming voice of history in the "Nick News Report on 9/11."

Carina Adly MacKenzie of Zap2It.com adds, "We particularly appreciated the inclusion of Jamie Jones, a young man who was seven years old that day and a member of the class that President George W. Bush so famously read to on that fateful morning."

In an interview with the New York Daily News, Ellerbee puts the program in context.

"We're telling kids what happened and why it's important," says Ellerbee. "It's a foundation they can, and hopefully will, expand as they get older."

In case you missed the program, Jodi Davis, Nickelodeon Networks vice-president for communications, tells the Monitor in an email, "Beginning Sept. 6, the special will available on Nick.com, on iTunes as a free podcast and in Nick's video-on-demand offering."

You can also check out the Nickelodeon website for more information on talking about 9/11 with your children.

Here's the beginning of the show, just to give you an idea of the approach the program took.

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