Malaysian broadcasters say yes to children and their right to be heard
KUALA LUMPUR, 1 March 2010 – A host of TV and radio stations in Malaysia are standing united to celebrate children in conjunction with International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, observed this year on Sunday, 7 March. The theme for 2010 is ‘All Rights, All Children’ to mark the 20th Anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) last November.
The collaboration comes on the heels of the UNICEF and Leo Burnett/Arc Worldwide inaugural CRC@20 “Tune in to Me” campaign to honour Article 12 of the CRC: Every child’s right to be heard.
“The right to expression of opinion is a fundamental right from the moment of birth. It is not earned or granted at a certain age,” said UNICEF Representative to Malaysia Hans Olsen. “Children who are encouraged to express their opinions, learn to take responsibility and become active citizens. Children who are encouraged to ask questions are more likely to develop the ability to think independently and take informed decisions. These are important qualities of good citizenship.”
Radio and TV have important roles to play in advancing children’s citizenship through reporting about children and by offering opportunities for children to use its platforms to broadcast their views and to engage in public debates.
Children as empowered citizens
Children’s involvement in the media can illustrate to the public that children have much greater capacity than most adults give them credit for. This idea can strengthen public acceptance of children’s rights generally. As journalists, children can challenge conventional images of themselves and their peers as helpless victims. Instead they present themselves as empowered citizens.
“Children and teens use media because it’s exciting and imaginative,” Olsen highlighted. “When children get a chance to participate in media, they also get to look at the world around them through a new lens. This can lead to a greater understanding of that world on many different levels. It can also inspire action and a sense of responsibility and bring about improvements for one's self, one's family, school or community.”
Initiated in 1991, the International Children's Day of Broadcasting gives children this chance. While only 200 broadcasters in a little over 80 countries took part in the first ICDB close to twenty years ago, today the number has grown to include thousands of broadcasters across the world.
This year’s ICDB also sees the largest number of Malaysian radio and TV stations standing united for children. Participating on this dedicated day are AI.fm, BERNAMA Radio 24, ERA.fm, FLY.fm, HITZ.fm, HOT.fm, MINNAL, MY.fm, NTV7, ONE.fm, RTM TV2, THRAAGA, TRAXX.fm and TV3. (View program listing).
Creating a better world for children
The growing numbers of TV and radio stations taking part in ICDB tells only part of the story. The special day has provided governments, broadcasters, communities and children themselves with a powerful opportunity to create not only a better broadcast environment but also a better world for children.
“The International Children's Day of Broadcasting is now one of UNICEF's most successful advocacy initiatives”, added Olsen. “It has the support of some of the world's most powerful and influential broadcasting organisations; and broadcasters from all over the world now annually ‘tune in to kids’.”
UNICEF and its media partners invite everyone connected to children – parents, teachers, healthcare workers, policy makers, faith-based leaders – to tune in to children this coming weekend, on 6 and 7 March. For program details and listings, please visit www.tuneintome.bluehyppo.com or www.unicef.org/malaysia..............................................................................................
For more information, please contact:
Indra Kumari Nadchatram