Children’s TV show in Albania scoops international award
TIRANA, Albania, 9 July, 2007 - ‘Straight Talk’, the television programme that gives Albanian youngsters a platform for their stories and opinions, has been specially commended in a prestigious international media awards ceremony.
The commendation, in the OneWorld Media Awards, 2007, in London, UK, recognises the programme for its outstanding and unique contribution in to sustainable development and human rights.
“Youth just want their voices heard and that is exactly the reason why UNICEF and Albanian National Television (TVSH) co-created Troç” – said UNICEF representative in Albania, Carrie Auer.
‘Straight Talk’ allows young people to play all the important roles; as producers, editors, reporters and presenters. They are given free space to give their perspectives on all the issues affecting their lives.
Over a six year period, a total of around 300 young reporters, aged between 14 and 18 years, have worked on ‘Straight Talk’. They’ve helped to staff 11 bureaus located around Albania where they use mini-DVD cameras to capture their reports for broadcast in their weekly, one-hour programme.
They work under the guidance of an adult producer, and during production days each bureau develops and researches stories, shoots video and prepares scripts.
‘Straight Talk’ has already run past 200 editions on National Albanian Television, making it the longest running programme in the post-Communist era.
Celebrities in their towns, the young journalists serve as a role model for younger children. And the continuous training provided by the project makes them skilled reporters – to the extent that ‘graduates’ from the project frequently receive job offers from private television stations.
It is not just the youth who benefit from producing the show. With 70 per cent of the country’s population watching, it has become one of the most popular television programmes.
The landscape of broadcast journalism is changing in Albania, and so are the issues that it covers. Thanks to the UNICEF-supported programme, young people are speaking out and are being heard nationally via a television show that is original, and is as it says on the label, ‘Straight Talk’.
Anila Miria, Communication officer