A Modest Proposal: How Child Labor Can Save the Media

kid11309 A Modest Proposal: How Child Labor Can Save the MediaAs you may have read on Gawker or The Huffington Post 10-year-old cub reporter Damon Weaver has been granted press credentials to cover Barack Obama’s inauguration. Young Mr. Weaver, a resident of Florida, has been trying to gain access to President-elect Obama since at least November 2008—he’s getting closer, sharing some face time with Joe Biden and possible future New York Senator Caroline Kennedy—making him the most successful reporter under the age of twelve since the heyday of Wonder Showzen‘s Beat Kids.

Considering the fact that children under 14 make up 20.1% of the U.S. population according to the CIA World Factbook, Mr. Weaver—who’s a much better on-air reporter than, say, Joe "The Plumber" Wurzelbacher—could be a breakout star among kids. And if Mr. Weaver can get those little ones to tune into the nightly news instead of The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, he can turn that business around.

Mr. Weaver is just one of several promising young talents poised to save struggling industries. Last year HarperCollins released How to Talk to Girls, by nine-year-old author Alec Greven. Time Magazine urged its readers to check it out and The New York Post featured a charming advertorial for it in December. Saturday Night Live‘s Andy Samberg even managed to squeeze a laugh or two out it (no small feat for him) on a ‘Weekend Update’ segment.

Mr. Greven’s book is currently ranked at # 2,734 on Amazon’s sales list, which probably bought him a jumbo-sized box crayons with which he’s furiously writing his two follow-ups: How to Talk to Moms (due March 17, 2009) and How to Talk to Dads (April 21, 2009). With the success of Marley and Me and Dewey: The Small-Town Library Cat Who Touched the World, can How to Talk to Dogs and How to Talk to Small-Town Librarians be far behind?

Also due out in March is the book, How a Second Grader Beats Wall Street: Golden Rules Any Investor Can Learn, by Allan S. Roth, which, according to its publisher, Wiley, tells:

[T]he story of Kevin Roth—an eight-year-old who was schooled in simple approaches to sound investing by his father and expert financial planner, Allan Roth—and discover exactly how simple it can be to successfully invest.

So, the solution to all of our problems is simple: Kids—and lots of ‘em.

Now, if only The New York Times would hire a 10-year-old op-ed columnist to replace Bill Kristol and President-elect Obama could get some kids to put away Guantánamo Bay before nap time.