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MAGIC news archive
February 2005

Catching Them Young - Kaila!
The Fiji Times has launched "Kaila!", the country's first youth newspaper, and the children of Fiji are loving it. Fiji Times managing director Tony Yianni highlighted the importance of giving children a forum of their own in which they can actively learn and communicate.
"It's become the voice of Fiji, very quickly, rather surprisingly because they trust the paper," he told the Commonwealth Press Union editors forum in Sydney this week. In nations such as Fiji where technological uptake is slow and in some areas non-existent, newspapers act as an important tool for national development.

TV's children confuse reality with fiction
Sociologist N. Rajaram says: "Media plays a big role in how today's generation deals with their problems. Movies, soaps and glossy magazines deliver a variety of ideas to teenagers. Some of them feign their own kidnapping to get desired results. The problem is that certain television serials portray such acts in jest and children think that they can get away with anything and that faking one's own abduction is a child's play."

Arctic Youth Impressions - Your North, Your Community, Your Life
Are you looking for an outlet to express yourself? Do you want to share your thoughts and opinions with others? The Arctic Council's Future of Children and Youth in the Arctic Initiative is calling on Arctic youth from all circumpolar countries to submit creative pieces of work to be posted on the On Top of the World Web site. Essays, Photography, Poetry - Enter by February 28th!

Danger - TV in the home
Parents should exercise the same control over their children's TV viewing as they do over tablets or chemicals in the home. That was the warning issued today by psychology experts in Birmingham, increasingly alarmed at the influence of violent TV on impressionable children.
Researchers at Birmingham University's Centre for Forensic and Family Psychology have now issued safety guidelines. They say the availability of videos, satellite and cable TV in the home means children now have access to " violent media inappropriate to their age, developmental stage and mental health".

PROMAX&BDA joins with UNICEF on one minute video contest

Winning Entry Will Serve As Voices of Youth PSA, Airing Globally In Celebration of ICDB

PROMAX&BDA, the global, non-profit association dedicated to advancing the role and effectiveness of promotion, marketing and broadcast design professionals in the electronic media, has signed on as co-sponsor of UNICEF's Voices of Youth*s One Minute Video Contest. The competition, open to anyone under the age of 25 anywhere in the world, asks contestants to demonstrate how young people are speaking out, taking action and making a difference in their community and the world at large.
"Unless we work with children, for children, we will never achieve the goals we have set to achieve. Make a Difference contest is another way that UNICEF is setting the stage for real youth participation and partnership" says Jeannette Gonzalez, Programme Coordinator, UNICEF's Children's Broadcasting initiatives. "UNICEF very much appreciates the support given to this contest by PROMAX&BDA and its members."
The winning entry will serve as the official public service announcement for UNICEF's Voice of Youth, a global website for young people to explore, discuss and take action on issues that affect them. In addition to prizes for the winning video entry, the resulting PSA will be made available for broadcast around the globe in celebration of The International Children's Day of Broadcasting, December 11, 2005. PROMAX&BDA will fly the contest winner(s) and a parent or guardian to New York City to attend the organization's annual conference, June 21 through 23 at the Marriott Marquis at Times Square. PROMAX&BDA will also host a 45-minute session focusing on the winning video entry and discussion with the young video artist.
"I cannot think of a more effective means for communicating the power of television as well as the importance of getting involved," said Jim Chabin, CEO of PROMAX&BDA in making the announcement. "This competition clearly demonstrates the formidable impact that young people have on the world when they decide to speak out, take action and make a difference. And by encouraging others to join that effort, the potential for effecting positive global change is just awe-inspiring. I'm anxious to see the entries and meet the winner and know they will make an indelible impression on our worldwide membership this coming June."
Criteria for video submissions include: showing how young people can and are taking action to make the world, and their own communities, a better place. Video must capture the mission of Voices of Youth -- to promote and protect every child's right to know more, say more and do more about the world they live in. Video must be exactly one minute in length. Participants must be below 25 years of age. Submissions can be made either by an individual or group, and can be sponsored by an organization or corporation; however, each individual or group is limited to only one submission. All videos should be free of copyright materials. Deadline for submission is March 1, 2005.


The International Children's Day of Broadcasting is celebrated on the second Sunday of every December, is a day when broadcasters around the world "Tune in to Kids". They air quality programming for and about children. But most of all, they allow children to be part of the programming process, to talk about their hopes and dreams and share information with their peers. The Day is a joint initiative of UNICEF and the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences. Every year, thousands of broadcasters in more than a hundred countries take part in the day, celebrating it in ways that are as unique and special as children themselves.

Watch OneMinutesJr to get inspired!

Teens Embark on Media Campaigns to Address the Top Killer Of Youths - Automobile Accidents
Teenagers from across the country are helping their peers become safer drivers through Project Ignition, a creative service-learning program. Through Project Ignition, high school classes create peer-focused media campaigns addressing teen driving habits and choices. Participants use a wide-range of media to deliver their messages, including music, video and art. Last year's campaigns addressed such issues as seatbelt usage, defensive driving, and drinking and driving.

Youth services host digital arts festivals
A grant from the Boys and Girls Clubs of America is helping transform children from Fort Myer's Youth Services into budding visual artists. Anthony Wright, a functional technology specialist with Fort Myer's Child and Youth Services program said he applied for a grant that awarded the installation $2,000 worth of camera equipment and software with the expectation that youth compete in a Digital Arts Festival.

Young women's magazine seeks interns, computers
A Zambian magazine run entirely by young, female volunteers is looking for interns to help produce its upcoming issues.
The magazine, Kwacha Kum'mawa, is looking for volunteers to help the staff with writing, editing, formatting, layout and marketing. Publisher Josephine Tembo Chitalu told IJNet that the magazine would provide for food and lodging, so long as interns pay for their own airfare to Zambia. Five women launched Kwacha Kum'mawa, based in Chipata, in 2001. They wanted to give young girls in the region an outlet to learn writing and journalism skills. Since then, the magazine's office has become something of a haven for local teenage girls, Chitalu said.
"Many young girls have started flocking to the center to learn, chat, discuss and hope the future has something for them," she said. The magazine aims to help educate and change the lifestyles of women and teens, with information on women's health and rights. Over the past two years, however, the publication has suffered from a lack of trained professionals and computer equipment. Chitalu says the staff has managed to produce only two editions of the magazine in the past two years. The problem: a lack of computer equipment and trainers for the young staff.
"Our major goal now, whether we publish or not, is to ensure we do something for these dozens of young girls," Chitalu said. They are also asking for donations of old typewriters or computers for the magazine. Things are already starting to turn around for the magazine. In January, Kwacha Kum'mawa received three computers from the World Computer Exchange, a U.S.-based nonprofit that donates used computer equipment to youth-oriented groups in developing countries. Chitalu said the computers would allow the magazine to open a stringer office in Sinda. Local officials also have donated a new office for the magazine, allowing it to expand its services. It now houses an Internet café and counseling center for staff members and local women in the region.
For more information, contact Chitalu

Media project facilitates debate on future of young women in Syria
A group of young women in the Syrian capital, Damascus, were given the opportunity this week to generate their own audio and visual stories, focusing on the theme: "Where I am now and where I want to be by 2015".
The event, organised by the BBC World Service Trust, under a project called 'My Life', was an opportunity for the young women, aged between 14 and 20, to debate ideas and issues affecting them and to talk about how they can progress in life.
"I am indeed very happy. It is unbelievable to raise such a theme in our country," Mwana Orfaly, 15, told IRIN.

Children take media to task on tsunami coverage in India
It was an interaction with a difference as children held media persons in the dock over the coverage of issues related to their counterparts affected by tsunami. Members of Bal Panchayat, a forum for children's self-expression, today said issues of children affected by tsunami were not being given adequate importance by the media.
Presenting their reports here after a media scanning exercise, where they analysed the coverage of children's issues by major English and Hindi newspapers over a period of two-weeks in the aftermath of tsunami, they said issues of malnutrition and counseling of children were not being highlighted enough.
"In the newspaper I scanned, out of the 58 items on tsunami only 13 related to children. I could hardly find news items relating to nutrition, trauma care as well as safety and rehabilitaion of children," said 11-year-old Aarti Rawat.

'Report child witness cases sensitively'
Regional journalists are being urged to report with sensitivity when covering court cases involving child witnesses. New research by the NSPCC and Victim Support has shown that some victims of child abuse who give evidence in court only hear about the outcome of the case through their local newspaper or radio station.
And as part of its new Caring for Children in Court Appeal to support child abuse victims giving evidence, the NSPCC has urged journalists to help minimise what is a traumatic experience by using sensitivity when deciding what details to include and how to treat coverage.

Teens use IMs to widen their social circles
Madison Ryckman was in a slump, stuck at home after the holidays, no friends in sight and a driver's permit away from freedom. Twenty years ago, this 15-year-old might have sought escape tying up the household's only telephone line for hours on end. Ten years ago, she may have written a few e-mails. But today, just give her two minutes and a few clicks on a slender new iBook laptop perched on her thighs, and this teen is connected to a social life through instant messaging that few over 30 have learned to appreciate.

Council of Europe urges governments to back "Safer Internet Day" on Tuesday 8 February
Strasbourg, 07.02.2005 - The Deputy Secretary General of the Council of Europe has called on the organisation's 46 member states to support "Safer Internet Day" tomorrow, Tuesday 8 February.
Speaking on the eve of the event - which is a European initiative to promote a safer Internet for all users, especially young people and children - Maud de Boer-Buquicchio said:
"Raising awareness and promoting education about the safe use of the Internet can help protect the fundamental rights of young people and children, recognised by all 46 member States of the Council of Europe.
"All that glitters is not gold. Alongside its many advantages, the Internet - which has become a window to the world of information and knowledge - is also the vehicle of unsolicited mail, fraud, and illicit or prejudicial content, undermining the very basis of human rights and human dignity.
"The vulnerability of children using the Internet entitles them to special attention and protection - through education and awareness of users, but also through the criminalisation and prosecution of offences committed via the Internet".
Safer Internet Day is an annual event conducted by the Internet Safety Awareness Network (INSAFE) under the patronage of European Commissioner Viviane Reding. It will be celebrated in 30 countries across Europe and beyond.

Native Lens teaches Swinomish teens movie-making craft, but program's future is uncertain

Standing in an empty parking lot next to the Swinomish Tribe's social services building, David Aleck realized he had a problem. The 15-year-old cinematographer had covered most of his bases. He had a storyboard sketch, a script and an actor, Martin Edwards, also 15. He had a $3,500 camera with a stabilizing weight that looked like it weighed half as much as he did. He had everything he needed to continue making his movie.

A young Iraqi girl Sara describes her family's preparations for the elections

Sara returns to tell us more about the tough choices her family has made on the eve of Iraq's election, in her second digital diary for UNICEF Voices of Youth and UNICEF Radio.
Voices of Youth Digital Diaries are all about young people who want to know more.do more.and say more about the world. Our goal is to amplify their voices by inviting the world's children to share UNICEF's electronic podium. These reports are first-person/eyewitness accounts by young people from around the world.

Influence of Computer Games on Children
In the debate on children, youth and computer games, the question of whether computer games are harmful is often posed. The answers provided are many and varying, making it easy to interpret the research results as contradictory.
With an aim to clarify and bring some order to the area, the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People has conducted an investigation that provides some insight into children's and young people's use of computer games.
The International Clearinghouse for Children, Youth and Media considered the report to be of interest to a wider audience and sought collaboration with the Danish Media Council for Children and Young People concerning publishing of the report.
The authors, Simon Egenfeldt-Nielsen and Jonas Heide Smith, have done some revising and updating of the report, which is now available in English. It is hoped that the report will contribute to clarification in the debate on computer games and inspire further research in the area. The original report Forskningsnotat om computerspil og skadelighed (2003) is available at www.medieraadet.dk.

International Festival of Documentary Film “CRONOGRAF” in the Republic of Moldova
The main purpose of “CRONOGRAF” Festival is to promote the art of cinematography along with the values of documentary discourse, by presenting the most significant documentary films of the moment. This festival is meant to host films that mirror originality and freedom of expression, as well as the non-traditional forms of cinema language or new aesthetics of world cultures.

Films4Lives is a brand new initiative for filmmakers being launched in 2005. Children, young people, students and professional filmmakers from all over the world are invited to submit short films to raise money for charities helping children.
Film makers under the age of 19 are encouraged to send in their short films on any theme. Priority will be given to films which promote children and young people’s rights.
The theme for students and professional filmmakers is the promotion of human rights. As well as raising money Films4Lives will celebrate creativity and raise children and young people’s rights awareness amongst filmmakers of all levels and ages. It will demonstrate how film can begin to be used as a tool for fundraising.

Teenagers Find Information About Sex on the Internet When They Look for It - And When They Don't, UCLA's Children's Digital Media Center Reports
American children live in an "all-pervasive sexualized media environment" that produces a "tremendous amount of inadvertent exposure to pornography and other adult sexual media." Teenagers are routinely exposed to values on the Internet that would disturb many parents; teens often search the Internet for information about sex that they would be embarrassed to discuss with an adult. Race is another popular topic in teen chat rooms.
A special issue of the Journal of Applied Developmental Psychology devoted to research on children and the electronic media, conducted at the National Science Foundation-funded Children's Digital Media Center, includes these findings, among many others.

Reaching teens and young adults in the Middle East
Ranging from preteens to mid 20s and currently accounting for nearly half the Arab World Population (often called Generation-Y). This segment is easily the most diverse and socially tolerant generation yet.
They're also widely considered as one of the most educated and media savvy. Having grown up in a technology rich environment, one in which many have been immersed their entire lives, it is not surprising that studies are showing that they spend more time on mobile phones and surfing the Internet each week than watching TV and reading magazines.

Canadian Awards of Excellence 2005

The Alliance for Children and Television (ACT) invites all Canadian producers of children’s and youth programs to compete for the English-Language Awards of Excellence 2005, which will be presented at an awards ceremony in Toronto in June 2005. All entries must be received at the ACT office in Montreal by no later than Friday, February 25, 2005, at 5 p.m.
The ACT Awards of Excellence honours English- and French-language productions in alternate years, with the 2005 edition being reserved for Canadian programs produced in English. To be eligible for the competition, programs must have aired in Canada, in English, for the first time between January 1, 2003, and December 31, 2004.

"Building a Secure Future Seeking Practical Solutions" - World Bank essay competition
What are the biggest obstacles you face in your daily life? What practical solutions would you propose to build a secure future for yourself and others?
Winning essays will be chosen for their originality, clarity and use of thoughtful yet concrete proposals for building a secure future. You are free to develop your essay in any way you find to be the most convincing.

IRAQ: Norwegian film-makers assist Kurdish colleagues
It's an example of international aid at its most basic. Jamal Penjwini, a young Iraqi Kurdish film-maker, is showing footage from a documentary he is preparing about smuggling over the Iran-Iraq border. Elderly men stumble forward under loads weighing more in kilos than their years. Poverty is omnipresent.
"This is very strong," said Anja Breien. "Edit it, send us a DVD copy and we will do our best to get it shown in Sweden. There's a festival of short films at Grimstad [in Norway] in March."
A director in her native Norway, Breien first came to the northern Iraqi city of Sulaymaniyah in 2003. Why, she asked then, when there were "Kurdish" films from Iran and Turkey, had she never heard of an Iraqi Kurdish feature film? Her hosts agreed that it was nothing to do with a shortage of good material. What they lacked, they told her, was expertise: people to teach them how to structure a film and prepare a script.

Les moyens de communication - Enquete d'audience
Children: The new media consumer in Madagascar
The study, launched in November 2004 by the Minister of Communication and the National Statistics Institute, reveals that 76% of all households in the country listen to the radio; 32 percent watch TV and 27 percent read newspapers. The study also pointed to the fact that village meetings remain the first source of information for most people and that children, surprise, surprise, listen to the radio as well!
The study, technically and financially supported by UNICEF, was conducted in 13 sites in the country, amongst some 10,000 households.

Smart Kids
Sexual predators on the Internet create a problem for state and local law enforcement, but new technologies are helping. Every year, more children of all ages go online to study, have fun and communicate with the world at large. The Internet is becoming an even more integral part of our children's lives, and most are ill equipped to protect themselves online.

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