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Child-Friendly Media Network

Over the past decade, Mozambique has seen its media sector grow in breadth and depth. Private media outlets have proliferated, state-run media have worked to adopt a public service format, and increasing numbers of community-based radio stations serve rural areas. Though still nascent, growth of the information, communication, and entertainment industries has created an important enabling environment for advocacy, public awareness and communication for development activities.

In this context, MISA Mozambique, with support from UNICEF, has created a national network of child-friendly journalists and communicators called the Rede de Comunicadores Amigos da Crianca.

The network brings together over 350 media professionals who are committed to, or have a particular interest in, documenting and reporting on social issues and child rights. Because the network also involves senior editors and publishers, it can influence editorial decisions leading to increased prominence of children’s issues in the mass media.

Fifty per cent of the members of the network are community-based journalists and communicators working in the provinces. In addition, the network works in close partnership with the Forum of community radio broadcasters, an active partner in social mobilisation at community level.

The network offers resources and activities to its members, such as:

  • Monitoring and analysis of the news coverage on children’s issues in the national press
  • Publication of an annual report ‘Criança na Imprensa’ (Children in the Press), providing the most comprehensive analysis on how the media are reporting on children’s rights in Mozambique
  • A media support fund for journalists who want to cover under-reported stories in remote areas of the country
  • Trainings of journalists on key development issues
  • A web site (in Portuguese) that provides guidelines, story ideas, and publications to improve press coverage of children’s issues.

The network also supports civil society organisations that may not have the capacity or the expertise to conduct mass media or advocacy campaigns. In this context, the network has privileged access to key information on the situation of children and is kept abreast of national priorities and programme interventions.

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