Young people on the air during the 2005 International Children’s Day of Broadcasting at Colombia’s Caracol Radio network.
By Karen Cirillo
NEW YORK, USA, 8 December 2006 – Behind the scenes, in front of the cameras and on the air, youth around the world are using media to express and empower themselves. The occasion is UNICEF’s annual International Children’s Day of Broadcasting, or ICDB, to be held this year on 10 December.
ICDB was launched 15 years ago to encourage broadcasters to focus their attention on children’s rights and air programming reflecting those issues. Over the years, the initiative has expanded to involve more active youth participation. Now broadcasters around the world work with children and adolescents to create programming by children, for children.
This year their focus is the 2006 ICDB theme, UNITE FOR CHILDREN UNITE AGAINST AIDS – the rallying cry of the global campaign on HIV/AIDS and young people.
Youth programming worldwide
To mark ICDB, broadcasters create special dramas, present children’s talk shows and organize day-long youth events. Here are some highlights of 2006 ICDB programming:
In Côte d’Ivoire, a special TV programme will feature youth educators who are working to prevent HIV infection among their peers, and Radio ONUCI will air an ICDB radio programme hosted by young people
UNICEF Germany is working with Super RTL to produce and broadcast a 30-minute show on children’s issues
Radio Televisyen Malaysia will produce an ICDB special hosted by two 16-year-olds; among other segments, they will interview the UNICEF Representative in Malaysia to discuss the impact of HIV/AIDS on youth
In Kenya, four different media houses have created unique programmes on how HIV/AIDS affects children
Ghana’s Joy FM has sought input from schoolchildren in Accra for programming ideas on the ICDB theme and will host an event with young people promoting HIV/AIDS prevention through music, dance, drama and other activities
In Pakistan, a special ICDB public service announcement has been recorded in Urdu by Strings, a pop group whose members are UNICEF National Goodwill Ambassadors
Bostwana Television has devoted an entire week of production to youth television, including interviews, presentations and reports from locations such as schools and orphanages
In the United States, the MNN Youth Channel will air a panel discussion with young people who have used media to address issues of HIV and AIDS; in addition, radio station WCPN in Ohio will host an on-air children’s panel discussion.
These and hundreds of broadcasters around the world have joined UNICEF in its appeal to ‘Tune in to Kids’ for ICDB. On 10 December, the world will be listening and watching.