As we planned for the 6th World Summit on Media for Children and Youth which took place in Karlstad, Sweden, the Global Youth Council (GYC) suggested that we come up with 5 issues and recommendations affecting children and media in our countries. In the ensuing debate, 6 issues and recommendations emerged as global agenda for children.
Out of the 6 point agenda by the Global Youth Council, the NCC has come up with a 5 point agenda. These are similar to the 6 point agenda but more locally appropriate. While we continue to stand for and add our voice to the global agenda, we will stick to and continue to use and push the 5 points just like the five fingers of the palm.
We will limit our focus to children. Youth according the United Nations is the age between 15 and 25 while children are between 0 and 18. Youths have been known to speak for themselves while children have been silenced for so long.
The alliance we are forming between producers of media for children (television, radio, internet and prints) and children who participate in media will give voice to issues relating to children and monitor media content for children.
Pending our local registration, the alliance has been formed using the GYC mandate. The NCC will be promoted by a media team under the auspices of Cares Global Network.
The issues and recommendations are outlined below:
Limited access to children’s programmes and programming
• Children’s belt/pages should be defined and have appropriate or no adverts.
• Children’s programmes should be of quality standard, adequate and appropriate.
Lack of media literacy and child rights awareness
• Children, adults and media producers should be educated on media literacy and safe use.
• Adequate awareness should be created on child rights and responsibilities.
Children and young people are not involved in media
• Ensure active participation of children in media production/presentation.
• Have a forum through which children can comment about media content.
Negative representation of children and young people in the media
• Media must adopt existing ethical guidelines on reporting on children.
• FG/SG/NBC should create and enforce laws and policies that can back up child rights.
Commercial interest versus social responsibility (FG/SG/NBC/PS/NGO & Media)
• Children’s media should only feature developmentally appropriate adverts
• Stakeholders should provide more non-commercial newspaper/radio/television.
• Create partnerships for the training of producers of media for children
• Use special days e.g. ICDB, Children’s Day, DOTAC to push children’s issues.