Montenegro’s youth with and without disability become TV reporters on inclusion
PODGORICA, 16 January 2013 – Based on the UNICEF resource pack on producing effective communication for children “Communicating with Children” by Barbara Kolucki and Dafna Lemish, UNICEF Montenegro supported the Montenegro Media Institute to train a group of young people with and without disability to become TV reporters on inclusion.
For the first time, young people with and without disabilities had a chance to produce a TV programme with technical support from the professionals of the Montenegro Media Institute. They really enjoyed this opportunity.
“This was a great experience. I enjoyed being a TV reporter. We visited many places and talked to many interesting people,” says Miljan Otasevic, a 16-year old boy and the first young TV reporter with visual impairments in Montenegro.
His friend Isidora Grgur, 15 year old girl, adds: “As there were young TV reporters with disability among us, I learned a lot from them about inclusion. Becoming friends with them and going in the field together to create a TV programme according to our ideas was the best part of this experience.”
This was a new experience for Montenegro’s Institute for Media as well, which usually trains professional journalists. “For the first time, we supported children to become TV reporters and change the disability media representation. We were impressed with their creative ideas for the TV programme, curious interview questions, team spirit and enthusiasm,” the director of the Montenegro Media Institute Ljilja Zugic points out.
Young TV reporters made four 20-min TV transmissions on inclusive education and sports, day care centres for children with disability and books and other educational materials in audio format and Braille alphabet. They were broadcasted on the public service television TVCG within the It’s about ability campaign through which the Government and UNICEF have been promoting inclusion in Montenegro since September 2010.
UNICEF supported the production of the inclusive children’s media programme in Montenegro as a response to the requests made by young people with disability within the It’s about ability campaign to become visible in the local media and not to be misrepresented as “victims”.
“Children as young agents of change are at the core of the It’s about ability campaign. Creating opportunities for children with disability to demonstrate their rights and potential, to become friends with peers and to express their rights and proposals for building a more inclusive society is the central part of the campaign.” UNICEF Montenegro Representative Benjamin Perks highlights. “We take their suggestions seriously and so far, listening to them proved to be the most successful strategy.”
According to the campaign evaluation KAP survey conducted in December 2012, every third citizen (32%) noticed these TV transmissions and 71% have a really positive impression on them. The survey also showed that people loved the most getting to know young TV reporters with disability through these TV transmissions and appreciated the most their friendship with peers and their fight for equal rights and treatment of all children in the society.