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Bangladesh television stations tune into kids

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© UNICEF/2009/Kakon
A child journalist taking an interview

What do Bangladeshi children think about their country? What are they worried about? What are their hopes for the future? Bangladesh tuned into kids to find out on 1 March 2009.

Every year, media broadcasters work around the world to join UNICEF to mark the International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB). ICDB encourages media channels to broadcast programmes for, by and about young people.

Opening eyes to children’s views
Purina Shayeqa is a child journalist on the television programme Amra Korbo Joy (We Will Overcome) which screens weekly on ATN Bangla, a national television channel. The magazine programme is written and directed entirely by children. Child journalists and news anchors present the news slots, short documentaries and discussion panels

“After working in this programme for three years, I feel more responsible for children,” says Purina Shayeqa. “I feel responsible for the problems they face, for giving them the opportunity to be children, not to be adults at a young age, especially children who do not have access to a lot of things, like good schools, playing games, being with friends.” Purina speaks with the wisdom of a seasoned journalist, even though she is only 14 years old.

“Through our programme we reach all kinds of people,” continues Purina. “There are people who can’t read, people who can’t buy a newspaper. They watch our show and want to help the children. We are lucky that we can help children through our programme. We need more programmes like this.’

The programme broadcast its 300th episode on March 1, to coincide with the International Children's Day of Broadcasting. 120 children, including Purina, joined the studio audience.

These children expressed themselves clearly during the panel segment. One child with a disability expressed delight at being on TV for the first time. Another said that although children could give their opinions on children rights issues through such programmes, adults wouldn’t take them into consideration.

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Broadcasting children’s voices

Bangladeshi TV stations have proudly participated in the International Children's Day of Broadcasting for many years.  Last year, Channel I from Bangladesh won the prestigious ICDB award for the Asia Pacific Region for a programme on children with autism. Bangladesh also secured the UNICEF-supported prize in 2004, that time for a documentary by ATN Bangla.

This year, many television stations supported other child-directed and focused productions. Bangla Vision aired a celebrity panel programme, interviewing disadvantaged children from around Bangladesh. Channel I aired a documentary focusing on the lives and education opportunities of children of ethnic minorities living in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.

The theme of this year’s ICDB was “Unite for Children: Tune in to Kids.”  Clearly, Bangladesh knows the benefits of tuning in to children.

 

 

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