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Children and the media

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Media for education

Mass media provides the most constant and open system of public education. The prevalence of radio, even more than television, in most societies, brings information not just to households, but directly to individuals, including children and young people.

This allows the transmission of life-saving advice as well as life skills - through news broadcasts, magazine programmes, chat shows, soap operas and publicity campaigns, alerting whole populations to HIV/AIDS, to the commercial and sexual exploitation of children, to the use of children in armed conflict, and to the human consequences of radical economic and political change.

The use of audiovisual aids, film, video and now the Internet in classrooms has transformed education and teaching techniques, raising the need for new skills, especially the ability to process, test and interpret information.

The prevalence of Internet cafes, and access to the Internet via libraries, town halls, community and health centres, has put a wealth of information at people's fingertips. And it is young people who are most familiar with these communication techniques. While their parents may never have known anything like it, future generations will never have known anything else.

In the meantime, harnessing the power of new media to build networks between teachers and students in the resource-rich North and the resource-poor South remains the best way of bridging the gap and ensuring that children everywhere can benefit from the sharing of experience, techniques and materials.

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