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Links in this section may take you to new, non-UNICEF websites. Therefore, the opinions and views expressed do not necessarily reflect the views of the United Nations or its agencies.

MAGIC NEWS ARCHIVE MARCH 2004

ARTICLES
Sesame Street Divided
Can you tell me how to get, how to get to Sesame Street? That's what the classic US Sesame Street theme song used to ask, and of course everyone wanted to get there... to a place where children of all colors - and even animals and monsters - were good, where they spent their time singing and skipping beneath the blue, blue skies.
But nowadays, hardly anyone in this neck of the woods asks for directions to such a place. The 35-year-old program has been dubbed into dozens of languages in more than 100 countries. In the early 1980s, a Hebrew edition with local characters, mixed with dubbed US-made segments, aired successfully in Israel. And in the optimistic post-Oslo years, a version created for Israeli and Palestinian audiences was also a hit. But that new Middle East Sesame Street buckled under the weight of the intifada. The metaphor of a street that is safe for both Israelis and Palestinians ultimately became downright far-fetched, and the program was canceled.
FULL ARTICLE

RESOURCES
Polish version of the CRC online
The Polisg version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child is the latest resource added to the MAGIC website's CRC page. To find all more than 30 languages available now, please go to the MAGIC briefing.

PROJECTS
World Newspaper Reading Passport Launched With Ghana Pilot Project
The World Association of Newspapers launched its World Newspaper Reading Passport with a pilot project in Ghana, where teachers, students and journalists are testing the initiative to encourage young readers to Use the newspaper as a learning tool in their daily lives.
MORE INFO

ARTICLE
Children in the media - Bangladesh
A two-day national consultation on "Children's Participation in Media" ended in Bangladesh on March 18th, 2003 with a framework to pave the way for effective partnership among television channels, development partners, government, NGOs and children.
FULL ARTICLE

EVENTS
Swiss Youth Press Festival 2004 in Basel, Switzerland
The motto is "Don't just watch, create!".
More info in English, German, French or Italian.

COMPETITIONS
Enter the 13th Annual Greeting Card Contest
Kids, if you are 13 years old or younger, enter the 13th annual Pier1/UNICEF/Weekly Reader Greeting Card Contest and your artwork could become a UNICEF greeting card at Pier 1 Imports! The deadline for entries is April11, 2004.
MORE INFO

ARTICLES
Comic relief
Animated programs and comics, once shunned as strictly children's media, now attract older audiences with risqué material and adult themes.
FULL ARTICLE

SPEECHES
The role of media in childhood obesity
Vicky Rideout, Vice President and Director of the Program for the Study of Entertainment Media and Health, testified to the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation ommittee's Subcommittee on Competition, Foreign Commerce, and Infrastructure hearing on the rise of obesity in children in America (March 2, 2004). Panelists' testimony focus on the health and economic consequences posed by increased obesity rates among children, and what government and private industry are doing to educate the public and to mitigate the problem. Rideout's testimony focuses on the role of media in childhood obesity.
READ THE FULL TESTIMONY

PROJECTS
ICTs to help fighting HIV/AIDS
Within the framework of UNESCO's project "ICTs helping to fight HIV/AIDS: changing young people's behavior through preventive education schemes" and with the support of the INFOYOUTH Programme, HIV/AIDS information centres for youth will be established in Mozambique, Tanzania and Bulgaria.
FULL ARTICLE

PROJECTS
Noddy motors into Chinese market
Children's character Noddy is about to make friends with China's 95 million under-five year olds. Noddy and his Toy Town chums are being introduced to the Chinese market after owner Chorion awarded the rights to a Beijing-based publisher.
The deal will mean a rollout of Noddy books, toys, videos and DVDs, and educational and language products. Nicholas James, Chorion boss, said: "We are confident children in China will warmly welcome Noddy." He added: "In particular we are delighted that the character is being used to teach children basic learning and language skills."
FULL ARTICLE

PROJECTS
New youth media project in Londonderry
Clionagh Boyle, Director of Derry Children's Commission, officially opened the Strand Road premises of Children's Express on Thursday, which provides a creative programme of learning through journalism for young people under 19.
Speaking at the launch Project Co-ordinator and journalist Martin Keeney said: "Our official opening marks the culmination of months of hard work. We first began looking for suitable premises back in January of last year but did not secure our new premises until September. Our Foyle Bureau now has 28 enthusiastic members who have been receiving training since October last on how to write and produce articles for the local press, how to take photographs for publication, and how to record interviews for radio."
FULL ARTICLE

REGULATIONS
Children's Ad Code applies to domestic broadcasters only
The new Children's Advertising Code to be introduced by the Broadcasting Commission of Ireland this summer will only apply to national broadcasters. TV stations from outside the Republic of Ireland, such as ITV, BBC or BSkyB, will not be covered by the new code, according to a specialist on media and advertising issues.
FULL ARTICLE

AWARDS
tommy arrives in Georgia

tommy, the OneMinutesJr award, has arrived in Georgia's capital Tbilisi. It will now stay with its new owner, George Baramidze (16) who won the award for his film "Don't leave child out" in November 2003.
George had a terrible traffic accident in January 2004 in which he was hit by a car. As a result, he lost his right leg and had to undergo several operations while spending two months in hospital. George is back at home with his family now and already has a number of ideas from new films.
For more info or if you want to get in touch with George, please write to MAGIC.

COMPETITIONS
Young writers competition in Indonesia
UNICEF and Yayasan Kesejahteraan Anak Indonesia (YKAI) are organizing an essay writing competition for the UNICEF Awards for Indonesian Young Writers 2004. The theme is "Creating A World Fit For Children": a world free of violence, diseases, war, and poverty.
The competition is open to everybody from Indonesia aged between 12 and 18. Essay have to be typed, 4-7 pages in length, using A4 paper, 1.5 lines spacing. If you use computers, please use Arial or Times New Roman fonts, size 12.
Send only your unpublished essay to: YKAI, Jl. Teuku Umar 10, Jakarta 10350 Indonesia, by 25 March 2004.

OPPORTUNITIES
12th Croatian Minute Movie Cup
The 12th Croatian Minute Movie Cup is organized by GFR FILM-VIDEO and the Croatian Film Association. It will take place on May 28 - 29, 2004 in Pozega, Croatia. The festival is open to all foreign and Croatian film/video makers older than 16 who are allowed to send an unlimited number of entries. The length of videos must not be longer than 60 seconds (including all titles and sound).
FESTIVAL WEBSITE

RESOURCES
CRC in Kazakh
The Kazakh version of the Convention on the Rights of the Child has been added to the MAGIC resources. There are now 32 different languages and five child-friendly versions of the CRC in the MAGIC briefing.

AWARDS
Russian children have a big new friend
Article from Ynpress about Carel de Rooy, the new UNICEF Representative in Russia (in Russian)
FULL ARTICLE

ARTICLES
China bans new Internet cafes near schools
Beijing (AP) - Claiming that "harmful cultural information'' online was hurting children, China said Thursday that Internet cafes may not openwithin 660 feet of schools.
The official China News Service did not say whether those already operating would be affected. Although Chinese leaders encourage Internet use for business and education, they have expressed growing alarm that it is exposing young people to pornography and influences the government deems harmful. Officials also worry that students spend too much time playing video games. "Currently some online services such as Internet bars are breaking the rules, using the Internet to spread harmful cultural information and seriously hurting the mental and physical health of young people,'' the report said.
The government already limits when and how long minors can use Internet cafes. The announcement threatened to punish efforts to "clandestinely set up an online service'' by disguising it as a computer school.
The government says China had 79.5 million Internet users at the end of 2003 - the world's second biggest population online after the United States. According to official figures, the number of Chinese people playing games online last year grew to 13.8 million. Many are children and teenagers.
SOURCE

ARTICLES
L'émission "Parler franchement" - "Straight talk" by youth
Les enfants sont notre ressource la plus précieuse; personne ne dira le contraire. Dans le monde entier, les adultes élaborent les politiques et gèrent les affaires publiques en ayant à l'esprit les besoins des enfants. Mais qu'en est-il vraiment? Qu'en pensent les jeunes?
FULL ARTICLE in French
FULL ARTICLE in English

AWARDS
OneMinutesJr competition winners announced
TakingITGlobal, UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation, and the OneMinutesFoundation ran a contest of One-Minute Video on “communication” leading up to the World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in December 2003 in Geneva.
Young film makers were invited to create a 60 sec-long video that expressed what communication means to them. Participation was open to children and young people aged 12-20. The work had to be done exclusively by youth without major support from adults. The winner is being awarded with a brand-new HP digital camera.
Winner - Say it All by Eva Pervolovici & Andrei Morgescu (RO)
First Runner-up - Game by Natalia Khavanova (BY)
Second Runner-up - Memories of My Father by Oleg Frolov (UZ) VIEW THE VIDEOS

ARTICLES
Connectivity Students and Trainers Connect People with Disabilities in Tajikistan
RI-SOL and ORA International began a six-week project to integrate disabled children outside the school system and disabled adults into mainstream community through IT training in life skills. Three participants in ORA's Disability Program come every Saturday to School #10 in Dushanbe to work with Connectivity Project Master Trainers and students for an hour on the computers and the Internet.
FULL ARTICLE

ARTICLES
Kiddie TV's 'Boohbah' bounces into the U.S. - but some experts says it deserves the boot
Boohbah is the newest variation in television fare for kids. Created in England by Anne Wood, the controversial mastermind behind the phenomenally successful television show Teletubbies, the new PBS program is available in 99 million homes.
FULL ARTICLE

ARTICLES
Physicians, Scientists to Media: Stop Using the Term "Crack Baby"
Thirty leading medical doctors, scientists and psychological researchers released a public letter calling on the media to stop the use of such terms as "crack baby" and "crack addicted baby" and similarly stigmatizing terms, such as "ice babies" and "meth babies." This broad group of researchers agrees that these terms lack scientific validity and should not be used.
FULL ARTICLE

RESOURCES
HIV/AIDS at school
How to live and learn in a world with HIV/AIDS? A new colorful folder published by UNESCO aims to combat HIV/AIDS-related discrimination at school by raising awareness about the pandemic. The folder contains three brochures, a red one for young people, a blue one for teachers and a purple one for parents, all describing how to cultivate a culture of non-discrimination at school towards those infected and affected by
HIV/AIDS.
FULL REPORT (in pdf - 2.41 MB)

REPORTS
Kaiser Family Foundation Releases New Report on Role of Media in Childhood Obesity
The Kaiser Family Foundation released a report today reviewing more than 40 studies on the role of media in the nation's dramatically increasing rates of childhood obesity. The report concludes that the majority of scientific research indicates that children who spend the most time with media are more likely to be overweight. Contrary to common assumptions, however, most research reviewed for this report does not find that children's media use displaces more vigorous physical activities. Therefore, the research indicates that there may be other factors related to children's media use that are contributing to weight gain. In particular, children's exposure to billions of dollars worth of food advertising and marketing in the media may be a key mechanism through which media contributes to childhood obesity.
The report cites studies that show that the typical child sees about 40,000 ads a year on TV, and that the majority of ads targeted to kids are for candy, cereal, soda and fast food. Furthermore, many of the advertising and marketing campaigns enlist children's favorite TV and movie characters: from SpongeBob Cheez-Its to Scooby-Doo cereals and Teletubbies Happy Meals. The report also cites research indicating that exposure to food advertising affects children's food choices and requests for products in the supermarket.
MORE INFO

RESOURCES
Youth Theater Manual (in French only)
Published within the framework of the project "A Cultural Approach to HIV/AIDS Prevention and Care", the manual was developed by UNESCO's Regional Bureau for Education in Africa in Dakar, in close collaboration with the Division for Cultural Politics and Intercultural Dialogue.
Produced by young people for young people, the manual proposes an original and creative approach to the prevention of HIV/AIDS. Both educational and recreational, the theatre is presented here as a culturally appropriate, effective and participatory means of prevention. The "theatre forum" - interactive theatre involving direct participation by the audience - seems particularly relevant in this instance.
DOWNLOAD THE MANUAL - pdf (4.19 MB)

ARTICLES
Television advertising leads to unhealthy habits in children, says APA task force
Research shows that children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today's youth obesity epidemic. For these reasons, a task force of the American Psychological Association (APA) is recommending that advertising targeting children under the age of eight be restricted.
FULL ARTICLE

ARTICLES
On children's TV, we do need another hero - a human one
The days when kids, particularly younger ones, watched shows starring humans - Captain Kangaroo, Mister Rogers, Shari Lewis, even Pee-wee Herman - are for the history books. Now it's "SpongeBob SquarePants", "Fairly Odd Parents" and "Powerpuff Girls," with occasional breaks for human-animated hybrids like "Blue's Clues" and costumed characters like Big Bird and Barney. On children's TV, it seems there isn't a live human left...
FULL STORY

AWARDS
The WHO Media Award
WHO Media AwardWHO Media AwardWHO Media Award
WHO/Europe will be giving a Media Award to mark the Fourth Ministerial Conference on Environment and Health (2004), dedicated to "The future for our children".
Entries are invited on subjects related to children's health and environment. These could feature for example, the human stories, the science, the politics, or community action on topics such as air pollution, noise, injuries from traffic, chemicals, poor housing, radio masts/radiation, poverty, contaminated water, climate change (e.g. floods), hazardous work, unsafe food, environmental tobacco smoke, asthma or allergy, reproductive health, social issues (e.g. abandoned children).
MORE INFO AND APPLICATION DETAILS

For older news items, please go to the ARCHIVE

 

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