Child Correspondents Join Forces for Children’s CausesFirst Ever ‘Children’s Online News Service’ in Bangladesh Launched
DHAKA, 31 March 2013 – For the first time ever, a ‘Children’s Online News Service’ has been launched today focusing on issues affecting millions of children in Bangladesh, where news stories gathered by children from across Bangladesh will be uploaded on a website (http://hello.bdnews24.com/) which will be accessible to all national and district level media outlets for their daily news consumption.
The initiative titled ‘Hello’, a partnership between online news provider BDnews24 and UNICEF Bangladesh, is aimed at giving opportunities for children by training them as journalists, , so that their views and aspirations can find a place in the mainstream media.
“This is the ‘start of making new history’ for the children of Bangladesh. We are very happy to create this ‘space’ for children with BDNews24 where they will be able to raise their concerns, share their hopes for the future and contribute to decisions that affect their lives by suggesting solutions while playing an active role in media”, said Pascal Villeneuve, UNICEF Bangladesh Representative during the launch.
The ‘Children’s Online News Service’ was launched today in presence of Mr. Hasanul Haq Inu, Information Minister; Mr. Toufique Imrose Khalidi, Chief Editor and Managing Director of BDNews24; Pascal Villeneuve, Representative, UNICEF Bangladesh and two child journalists involved with the initiative.
Since the start of the partnership in September 2012, BDNews24's staff have been training selected children in the 20 most deprived districts across Bangladesh (Barguna, Bhola, Patuakhali, Bandarban, Cox’s Bazar, Khagrachari, Rangamati, Jamalpur, Netrokona, Bagerhat, Khulna, Satkhira, Sirajganj, Gaibandha, Kurigram, Nilphamari, Rangpur, Habiganj, Sunamganj, Sylhet). They were taught various skills of the trade by qualified journalists from BDNews24. They have gained invaluable skills and insights into news-gathering, techniques of news and feature writing, managing deadlines, attribution of sources and editorial processes.
"Our commitment to journalism, ethics and professional standards has produced many firsts, in Bangladesh and even in the world. We take immense pride now in launching a news service for the children, by the children. I thank UNICEF for being with us in a venture that I believe will produce world class professionals from among those 10- to 17-year-olds that my colleagues have so painstakingly chosen from thousands across Bangladesh", said Toufique Imrose Khalidi, Chief Editor and Managing Director of BDNews24.
Those trained children will be contributing to mainstream media with the supervision of senior journalists from BDNews24. Their reports, mostly in Bengali, will be distributed to all the media outlets in the country. Important news items will be translated into English also.
The launch of the ‘Children’s Online News Service’ is quite a significant initiative as it has been evident in a 2010 UNICEF study that issues affecting children’s lives received very little attention in the mainstream media, which is less than three per cent of total coverage. Among this three per cent, only less than two per cent news is focused on critical issues and in-depth stories.
UNICEF works in more than 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.
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