Children and the media
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Prizes signify value and achievement. They can stimulate innovation
and the pursuit of excellence. Prizes for individual performances,
publications, programmes, effective journalistic and marketing campaigns
or website design can provide a focus for children and young people
and help to spotlight best practice and share it with others. Within
the media industries, awards are also an important feature of marketing,
generating public interest and sales.
Encouraging fresh approaches to media production by, with and for
children can be achieved by including certain criteria in awards
- for example, respect for the child's perspective, or engaging
young people at each stage of the production process.
Those in a position to initiate awards for child-friendly media
products may wish to consider consulting children in the planning
of an awards scheme, and the adjudication process. They may also
wish to include a requirement that responsible involvement of children
and young people is a key determinant of eligibility. This in turn
may place a responsibility upon entrants to describe the participative
techniques they have employed, so that others can benefit from their
solutions to particular obstacles.
Another important consideration is sustainability. Are all relevant
professional bodies aware of the awards scheme - from media producers
to teachers, as well as the networks of voluntary organizations
working directly with children? Have the awards been designed to
give them sufficient exposure and kudos to encourage participation?
What thought has been given to creating an awards process that makes
best use of new communications technology to involve the public
and members of specific age groups or professions in the awarding
The global media market place makes it possible to develop award
schemes that can operate at a national, regional and international
level. Partnerships with media producers can bring opportunities
to share best practice across borders. International
Children's Day of Broadcasting, the Prix
Jeunesse and initiatives of the European
Broadcasting Union are good examples.
Underlying the prize-giving process should be the intention that
the winners will always be children. That means recognizing the
contribution that children themselves can make to media production.
Awards for children's newspapers, photography, film and programme-making
and website production sponsored by NGOs or the media industries,
for example, are powerful stimulants
The following are examples of good practice, and suggestions of
further web research.
Among the innovative approaches of The Prix
Jeunesse is the packaging of the best entries as a 'suitcase'
with multilingual supporting materials that are available for presentation
anywhere in the world, to exemplify good practice and encourage
The Canadian-based International
Center of Films for children and Young People has been awarding
prizes since 1981 to outstanding productions for children and young
people that: have a potential for international distribution; contribute
to better understanding between children and young people throughout
the world; are of high standard of artistic achievement and technical
competence; and which - in form and content - promote and respect
the rights of children.
Cartable, organized by the regional administration of the French
state education system, is one of numerous video festivals where
children are film-makers and jury.
The Premios Iberoamericanos de Comunicación por los
Derechos de la Niñez, established in co-operation with UNICEF
through its Americas
and Caribbean Regional Office, the Spanish National Committee
for UNICEF and the press agency EFE offers prizes for the most effective
use of print, radio, television and photography to promote and defend
of the rights of the child.
International Children's Film Festival engages both children
and adults in the process of selecting 180 films for entry to the
festival. A specially trained multi-ethnic Children's Jury and three
Adult Juries of media professionals then make the awards.
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