Children and media
UNICEF encourages the media to give children and young people a chance to voice their opinions in the media, not only because this furthers their rights, but because it makes for better stories.
Children and young people know a lot – and have much to contribute. They have especially valuable insights on issues that relate to them such as education, play, child abuse, violence, drug abuse and other subjects.
Children and young people also have a lot of interesting things to say, and often give more genuine, honest responses to situations than adults!
Children and young people can also offer fresh perspectives and insights on stories.
Bringing children and young people ‘into the loop’ lessens the chances that they’ll be portrayed in a patronising or condescending way, or as a stereotyped, homogenous group – a frequent complaint of children and youth about the media around the globe.
Involving children and young people in stories also humanises them. By giving a child a chance to speak, instead of just being portrayed as a “poor child” or “disabled child”, that child or young person will better come across as a complex, dynamic human being with the capability of persevering.
Additionally, UNICEF believes that the media can play an important role in helping children and youth realise their right to access and share information through the media.
Of course, providing children and youth with information is much more than just imparting facts. It is about giving them quality information that is interesting to people of their age, and that enhances their growth, health and enjoyment of life.