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MAGIC news archive
March 2005

Rebellion of the canes - UNICEF makes a documentary of an animation project by Minya children to promote children's rights
Perhaps it is not surprising to find a documentary film featuring the efforts of young Egyptian video animators being screened at Lebanon's International Film Festival for Children and Youth. It is surprising, however, that the young animators are school students of one of Egypt's poorest provinces who make Cairo's children seem privileged in comparison.
Rebellion of the Canes documents the work of 25 Minya children who spent five days making a series of short animation films on topics relating to children's rights. "We saw the potential of producing this film for children's rights and we were interested in making a combination between children's animation and their rights," says Simon Ingram, a communication officer from UNICEF, which financed the film. "We are trying to give the children the right to have a voice and to have a say as provided in the United Nations Children's Rights accords," he adds.

UNICEF game wins Web Award

Players of the UNICEF World Heroes game collect aid supplies in the back of a UNICEF vehicle. © UNICEF USA
The US Fund for UNICEF’s ‘World Heroes’ game has won the Amusement prize at this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive Web Awards. The ceremony, which is now in its twelfth year, brings together digital innovators from around the world for four days of speeches and discussions.
UNICEF World Heroes invites players to become a volunteer and catch aid supplies as they’re parachuted from an aeroplane.
“We’re delighted that the game’s content and design has been recognised by the industry”, says Tim Ledwith, Internet Director at the US Fund for UNICEF. “It was developed last year with the web consultants Mindshare Interactive Campaigns to engage a future generation of UNICEF supporters. Judging by the traffic passing through the site, it’s working.”
The gala award ceremony on 13 March was hosted by comedian Laura Swisher, from ‘Unscrewed with Martin Sargent’ on G4techTV and NBC's ‘Last Comic Standing’. She announced winners in over twenty categories ranging from ‘Best Experimental’ to ‘People's Choice’ to ‘Best of Show’.
Entry to the Web Awards is restricted to sites that launched in 2004 so that winners reflect the Internet's latest trends in design and content.
"The event was full of so many wonderful surprises," explained SXSW Web Awards Coordinator Shawn O'Keefe shortly after the ceremony. "It's amazing to bring together the top industry talent, whose creativity drives development on the web. And it is always a pleasure for us to host this event for the international online community."

Pitches to kids feed debate about watchdog group - An advertising industry group known as CARU is charged with monitoring television ads aimed at children
Unlike most people watching taped television shows, Tina Poturica doesn't zap through the commercials. Her job is monitoring promotions aimed at children under 12 to make sure they are accurate and age-appropriate.
One recent morning, Poturica -- remote control in one hand, pen and legal pad nearby -- zipped through five hours of taped afternoon shows from a cable cartoon network. She slowed the tape to study pitches for cereal, snacks and toys. An ad for a kid's fast-food meal caught her eye enough that she watched it three times.
It featured only the chain's highest-calorie products (double cheeseburger, fries, soda) and not some of its recently introduced, more-nutritious alternatives. ''Will a kid think they can only get the toy if they order the highest-calorie products?'' Poturica wondered. So she fired off a letter to the company, requesting that it feature some of the more healthful products in future ads.

UNICEF film wins prize at Cairo film festival - Project allows children to produce animated stories on rights
A documentary film produced by UNICEF Egypt was among the winners at last week's Cairo International Film Festival for Children. "Rebellion of the Canes" - made in 2004 - followed a project which allowed a group of Egyptian children to produce their own animated stories on themes related to children's rights. In the title film, children satirized corporal punishment by showing the teachers' canes coming to life and refusing to beat pupils.
UNICEF Communication Officer Simon Ingram said that the award was welcome recognition that children are capable of producing their own media products. "Cartoon animation is just one way in which children can find a voice in the modern mass media," said Ingram. "We would like to see more Egyptian children given this opportunity, especially when it allows them to raise issues related to their rights."

Clinton Seeks Ratings on Children's Media
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton on Wednesday sharply criticized the sex and violence in video games and other entertainment directed at children, calling the prevalence of such images an epidemic.
Mrs. Clinton, a Democrat from New York, also called on industry leaders to create a uniform ratings system that would warn parents about sex and violence in video games, television and other forms of entertainment that children might be exposed to. By contrast, parents now look to a patchwork of ratings systems that differ from one sector of the industry to another.
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Omatek Launches E-Youth Initiative to Spread Computer Access in Nigeria
Omatek Computers Limited recently flagged off a new project tagged Omatek e-Youth Initiative. The initiative is geared at putting affordable computer systems at the disposal of the largest segment of Nigeria's 130 million people who are also the most vibrant. Young people are at the heart of a new market-thrust.

Young volunteers learn to unleash media
More than 100 young volunteers were today (Feb 25) taking part in a pioneering course which aims to show them how to unleash the power of the media.
A series of dynamic youngsters who all run their own voluntary groups are meeting in Birmingham to learn how to best promote their efforts to the local community.
The youths, who are all members of the Youth Action Network, are taking part in The Big Picture event as part of the Year of the Volunteer campaign's "Youth and Children" month.

All the news that's kid-friendly
At this Paris newspaper, 10-year-olds take part in the editorial meetings - and choose the stories.
PARIS - It's early morning in the Paris headquarters of leading French newspaper Mon Quotidien, and the news team is busy discussing a story on the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
"Do you know where Mecca is?" asks an editor to the news team. "I've never heard of it," replies Kajetan, the "editor in chief." "Neither have I," add two other editors.
That might sound surprising, but you can't blame Kajetan for his apparent lack of knowledge. He is only 10 years old, and along with two other primary school kids, Juliette and Francois, he has been invited to be editor in chief for the day at one of the world's only daily newspapers for children.
Aimed at 10- to 14-year-old readers, Mon Quotidien marks its 10th anniversary this month and it has a lot to celebrate. In 10 years readership has steadily grown. The newspaper is so successful, it now has three sister publications for ages ranging from 5- to 18-year-olds, edited by Play Bac Presse.

The Media And Children's Rights Manual (2005)

A new edition of a booklet designed to help journalists monitor their government’s performance as signatories to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC) is published this month.
The Media and Children’s Rights has been produced by the Bristol-based media ethics charity MediaWise on behalf of the UN Children’s Fund, UNICEF. The original edition, commissioned in 1999 to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the UNCRC is in use in over 20 countries and has been translated into a dozen languages. It has shaped training programmes for journalists around the world, sponsored by UNICEF and the Diana, Princess of Wales Memorial Fund.
The revised and expanded, pocket-sized edition, based on the practical experience of working journalists, includes story ideas drawn from issues raised by the UNCRC and checklists to ensure that media professionals acknowledge children rights in their working practices.
“Media professionals are well placed to keep children’s rights – and their abuse – on the news agenda, by scrutinising policies and legislation, and challenging those who fail to meet their commitments to children,” says Lynn Geldof, UNICEF Communication Advisor for Central and Eastern Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States, introducing the handbook.
“It is designed to strengthen journalists’ understanding of children’s rights and to suggest how the issue can generate news stories and features for print and broadcast media,” says MediaWise Director Mike Jempson. “We hope they will find it useful in developing accurate and positive coverage of children everywhere.”
The handbook outlines two milestones for children’s rights since the first edition: the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), signed up to by 191 member states of the United Nations, and A World Fit for Children, the declaration, adopted by the UN General Assembly in 2002 to provide criteria against which to measure the policies and achievements of governments and others concerned with the welfare of children.
It also contains International Federation of Journalists guidelines and over 60 useful international contacts for journalists seeking facts, figures, quotes and advice about children’s rights, including the website www.unicef.org/magic containing Media Activities and Good Idea by, with and for Children, which MediaWise helped to devise.

Dr. Susan Linn, associate director of the Media Center at the Judge Baker Children's Center and author of "Consuming Kids: The Hostile Takeover of Childhood,'' cites The Cosby Show as the model for accurately portraying parents on TV.
"The parents were caring, present, intelligent and fallible. There were rules in the house. The kids had chores. They were expected to do well in school, and it was a really funny program. It's harder to write comedy around complex programs. It's easier to do with stereotypes.''

Make A Difference! video contest deadline extended
English - French - Spanish

The Make a difference! contest has generated an amazing response, with many young people working on submission, but some were concerned about meeting the deadline of 1 March...So, we are offering everyone an additional two weeks to 15 March! This should enable many young people to complete
submissions, and allow others to further enhance their almost ready videos!
The winner will not only be invited to come to New York to present the winning submission, but the video will also be the official Voices of Youth Public Service Announcement. With such great prizes we strongly encourage everyone to enter.

Le concours vidéo-minute «Faites bouger les choses!» a engendré un nombre stupéfiant de réponses. De nombreux jeunes étaient quasiment prêts à envoyer leur vidéo mais d’autres avaient indiqué qu’ils auraient du mal à respecter le délai du 1er mars… Nous avons donc décidé d’offrir à tous les candidats deux semaines supplémentaires et de repousser la date limite au 15 mars. Ce nouveau délai devrait permettre à de nombreux jeunes de terminer leurs projets et à d’autres d’améliorer encore les vidéos qu’ils étaient prêts à envoyer.
Non seulement le (la) gagnant(e) sera invité(e) à New York pour présenter sa vidéo, mais sa vidéo deviendra le message officiel de la Voix des jeunes. Compte tenu de ces prix, nous encourageons vivement tout le monde à participer.
Pour plus d’informations sur le concours, visite la page de la Voix des jeunes.

¡Marcar la Diferenca!¡Plaza de presentación hata el 15 de marzo!
El concurso ¡Marcar la Diferenca! ha tenido muy buena acogida y muchos jóvenes han acabado ya sus vídeos, pero algunos están preocupados porque piensan que no podrán terminarlos antes del plazo de la presentación, que es el 1 de marzo.
Por ello, hemos decidido ampliar el plazo dos semanas más, hasta el 15 de marzo. Esto permitirá que muchos jóvenes terminen su vídeos y que aquellos que hayan terminado sus presentaciones tengan la oportunidad de perfeccionarlas.
El vídeo ganador se convertirá en el anuncio oficial de servicio público de La Juventud Opina. Con estos premios y otros más, esperamos que todos se animen a enviar sus anuncios.
Para obtener mas información, visita La Juventud Opina!

'Kids' Crossroads': Teens produce cross-border TV programme in the Caucasus

NEW YORK, 25 February 2004 - In Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia, young people are starting to take over the airwaves. Their mission: To educate their peers, their parents, neighbours and decision-makers through a new youth-produced TV programme, 'Kids' Crossroads'.
'Kids' Crossroads' is a hands-on project that teaches young people how to address the issues that matter to them through television. The project lets teens produce their own TV programming covering topics ranging from conflict resolution and prevention to social inclusion and health issues. Through the medium of television, adolescents can share with their peers across the region the common challenges of growing up.

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 - NEW DEADLINE is March 15th, 2005!!!

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!

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