UNICEF and Lowe Indonesia promote healthy media habits for children
JAKARTA, 29 October, 2010 — Engaging children in active play and encouraging them to avoid excessive and unsupervised television watching and video gaming are at the centre of a new print and TV advertisement initiative launched today by UNICEF Indonesia with the support of advertising agency, Lowe Indonesia.
Three 15-second TV advertisements show a boy practicing his violin, a mother and father playing with their daughter and a group of friends playing with homemade toys in their garden — all reflected on a darkened television screen. The tag line read: ‘See what you can switch on when the screen is off’.
The TV public service announcements and matching print advertisements, available in Indonesian and English, were produced and placed in several major media outlets by Lowe Indonesia for UNICEF on a pro-bono basis.
“By building knowledge on how to use media and technology safely and wisely, and helping families make good choices about media consumption habits and patterns of usage we can better protect children,” said Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia.
Recent studies undertaken by the Indonesian research institute, YPMA, in partnership with the Government of Indonesia and sponsored by UNICEF, found that Indonesian children watch an average of 30- 45 hours of television per week. Children’s access to the internet is increasing with the availability of WAP-enabled handphones, and affordable internet cafes.
Both these media provide great potential for children and young people to access information that can help them with their studies, with their exploration of cultures and countries, and with their understanding of their environment and that which lies beyond Indonesia’s shores. At the same time, increased access to the media creates increased access to potential harm for children.
Despite efforts by the Broadcasting Commission to moderate programming, the YPMA research found that at least one quarter of television programmes is considered “unsafe” for children’s viewing, and that often children watch television without parental supervision. Nearly 40 per cent of children covered by the research said that their families also placed no restrictions on internet access. Playing video games – many of them containing violence – are also generally unsupervised activities. Awareness of the impacts of heavy viewing and unsupervised media consumption is still low. There is an acute lack of understanding of the need for family discussions and alternative activities to control children’s heavy media consumption habits.
UNICEF Indonesia is working with the Ministry of Information and Technology, the Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection as well as research institutions, civil society organizations and the private sector by supporting studies, coalition building and public awareness events such as the Television Free day every July.
For more information, please contact UNICEF Indonesia Edward Carwardine, Communication Chief, +62 812 123 72 52, firstname.lastname@example.org or Lely Djuhari, Communication Specialist, +62 21 2996 8141 or email@example.com or Iwan Hasan, Program Communication Specialist, +62 8151 133 123, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read an opinion piece written by UNICEF Representative in Indonesia, Angela Kearney, published in Indonesia's largest circulation English Daily The Jakarta Post on Indonesia's National Children' Day. Click here.
School-based media education
Partners in action
The Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection is the office tasked with researching and issuing guidelines to fulfill children's right to access media as well as ensure their protection.
The Ministry of Communication and Information Technology is responsible for formulating regulations so that the media industry considers the protection of children.
KPI, The Indonesian Broadcasting Commission, is an independent body which monitors broadcasting stations and issues sanctions and reprimands should they broadcast programmes harmful to children.
YPMA, Children Media Development Foundation, has conducted content analysis, research, coalition building, formulated recommendations for the government on children and media suppported by UNICEF Indonesia. Click on the picture to read more on their website here and download their guide to media. Includes tips on children can go online safely.