NEW YORK/GENEVA, 6 December 2002 - Voices and views of children will dominate the airwaves as young people commandeer TV and radio stations to produce programming that reflect their views and dreams. The occasion is the International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), sponsored by UNICEF, which began 10 years ago with the participation of some 200 television stations around the world - and now boasts over 3,000 broadcast outlets as partners, including hundreds of radio stations.
UNICEF officials say widening support for the ICDB over the last decade has made it possible to promote children's radio programming alongside television. And this year, for the first time, radio will be considered for special recognition. A special prize has been launched with OneWorld for outstanding radio programmes produced for and by children.
"Radio is the most widely used broadcast media in many parts of the world, so it is important to encourage radio stations to participate in ICDB," said Marjorie Newman-Williams, UNICEF's Director of Communication. "Radio stations are often locally-based and part of the community, which means they can provide a platform for children to have a say about issues that directly affect their lives."
The International Children's Day of Broadcasting takes place every year on the second Sunday in December. Through its 165 field offices, UNICEF encourages broadcasters to open their airwaves and broadcast studios to young people so that they can produce programming from a child's perspective. ICDB gives children the opportunity to express themselves by creating television and radio shows focusing on their own concerns, hopes and ambitions.
Broadcasters can become part of this international partnership by airing programming by, for or with children. A selection of animated shows, docudrama and television spots are also being offered for broadcast by UNICEF in partnership with Danmarks Radio and MTV Asia. Broadcasters continue to mark ICDB with distinctive and dynamic programming produced in their own countries.
Broadcasters' efforts are recognized by a special award created by the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, along with UNICEF. The award honours the year's outstanding television contribution to ICDB.
Star News of India won the award at the annual International Emmy Gala in New York in November 2002 for its programming during ICDB 2001. The station, primarily a news channel, gave children the driving seat in programmes that are usually made by adults. For example, Big Fight, a weekend debate on a current topic with three points of view, focused on the school system. Small Talk was a tête-à-tête between young interviewers and the Indian superstar Amitabh Bachancha. Assignment featured children reporting from a rural part of the country. Dil Se had children from all walks of life speaking their minds. ICDB spots were created and run during the week leading up to the day itself. Alongside Star News, the other finalists were TVCultura (Brazil), Canal Capital (Colombia) and Channels Television (Nigeria).
Previous winners were Sabado Chiquito de Corporan of Dominican Republic (1995), TVOntario, Canada (1996), Namibian Broadcasting Corporation (1997), TVCultura (1998, 1999 and 2000) and Canal Capital - Imaginario (2001).
"Children's voices and issues are reaching large and larger audiences. We look forward to ICDB turning into a year-round phenomenon," said Marjorie Newman Williams, UNICEF's Director of Communication.
UNICEF has long recognized that the media can be a potent force for change. With this goal in mind UNICEF has also created a new website MAGIC (Media Activities and Good Ideas for, with and by Children) which is a comprehensive international resource of information, advice and best practice on children and media. MAGIC features a searchable online database with media projects from all over the world where broadcaster can obtain and share ideas. This exciting new online resource is available to all ICDB participants.
For more information about the International Children's Day of Broadcasting contact:
Jeannette Gonzalez, firstname.lastname@example.org, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 326 7278
For more information about MAGIC, visitwww.unicef.org/magic or contact:
Marian Rivman, email@example.com, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 326 7270