In the '50s, television gave us "Youth Wants to Know." Now it's the '70s, Youth knows. And Channel 9 (WTOP) has come up with a program that might have been titled, "Youth Wants to Tell."
"A Different Point of View," at 7:30 tonight, was originally to be called "Children of Conflict, Children of Hope." But the 13 Washington-area 8-to-13-years-olds who took part thought that title was too stodgy. So they chose their own.
These are kids who know their own minds and, for about 30 remarkable and refreshing minutes, show no reluctance to speak them.
Host Carol Randolph, less rigidly humorless than usual, tosses out topics and the youngsters take it from there.
On the Arab-Israeli conflict: "They're both stubborn as oxes."
On the fighting in South Africa: "They shouldn't be having any fights at all. They should have verbal fights."
On the Carter White House: "We need leaders that get the people going, but then we have to do it."
Their asides can be enlightening, their misconceptions revailing, their self-assurance nearly breathtaking. What is most impressive is not so much the knowledge displayed but the concern. Little prodding or coaxing is required.
When director Marlon Whigham couldn't get a camera to one of the speakers immediately, shots of listeners were used to cover, and some of these are beautiful portraits of faces that reflect intelligence, dignity and hope. Executive producer Peggy Cooper says that more such programs are planned but not yet definite. One hopes that after tonight's premiere, "View" will become at least a monthly series.
It could knock "Issues and Answers" right off the air.