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MAGIC news archive
October 2004

Children's issues are seldom on the front page of Italian newspapers
Florence, Oct. 28 - Issues involving children are seldom found on the front page of Italian newspapers. This is what comes out of a report that was presented today on "Children and the Press" carried out by Florence's Osservatorio su Stampa e Minori dell' Istituto degli Innocenti (the Observatory on the Press and Minors of the Innocents' Institute).
In 2003, the report explains, out of the 26 main newspapers (dailies and periodicals) there were 5,949 articles, of these only 291, less than 5 pct, were on the front page. But do they talk about when they talk about children? Issues about education-school-educational services come first (16.5 pct of the total number of articles). They are followed by health and health services (15.1 pct) and children's rights, especially in terms of negated rights (12.1 pct). A bit behind, there are those on violence against minors (9.9 pct), the relationship between minors and mass media (9.5 pct), minors and families (9.4 pct), hardships-deviance (7.5 pct). Lastly, at the lowest levels, cases of children's violent death, the presence of foreign minors in Italy, and abandonment, poverty, and minors' employment.

"Digital Divide" Still Shapes Media Landscape: Families with High Incomes, Kids Much More Likely to Have PCs, Broadband, Digital Cable
Households with higher incomes or children are much more likely to own a range of media technologies, from PCs to high-speed Internet access to DVD players, according to a new report series from Knowledge Networks/SRI. By comparison, the "digital divide" between different ethnic and age groups is less severe, though still substantial in some cases.

New child-friendly MDGs launch and youth writer competition
As part of the UN week celebration, UNICEF Representative, Bjorn Ljungqvist, launched UNICEF's child-friendly version of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) and a young artist/writer competition promoting how Ethiopian youth can achieve the MDGs.
" If we are to meet the Millennium Development Goals here in Ethiopia, we must enlist the support and energy of this country's greatest resource - its youth," said Ljungqvist at a press conference Friday to mark the launch. "The young people of this country are an inspiration. We must harness their energy and vitality and actively support their efforts so that we can meet the goals by 2015."
Each of the eight MDG goals in the booklet is translated into four local languages: Amharic, Orimifa, Tigrinya and Somali. Colourful illustrations by local artist Dereje Demissie capture the essence of each, giving it a truly Ethiopian flavour. UNICEF plans to distribute the booklets nationally through schools, Anti-AIDS clubs and other youth networks.
In addition, UNICEF is launching an artist/writer competition asking young people 30 and under to submit their work depicting how the youth of Ethiopia can achieve the MDGs. Artists and writers are free to express themselves however they feel appropriate. However, all participants must submit an application to UNICEF in writing, in either English or Amharic, on how their artworks relate to the MDGs and youth. Applications are available through the UNICEF Communication Section.

Computer games 'can help children learn'
The tomb-raiding exploits of Lara Croft or the adventures of the cuddly ogre Shrek can help children's social and educational development, according to researchers calling for computer games to be part of the school curriculum.
Far from being an obesity-inducing, violence-promoting threat to society, as they are often portrayed, the games being played in bedrooms across the country during half term can be used in the classroom to help children learn concepts such as critical appreciation of narrative structure or character development which they might otherwise study in a novel, say academics at London University's Institute of Education.
FULL ARTICLE (from the Guardian)

5th International One Minute Video Festival to take place in Amsterdam
on November 21, 2004

This year seven categories and more than 1000 films will compete against each other from 51 different countries. In total 56 films will be shown that have been nominated by the jury members. The One Minutes Junior category was introduced 2 years ago and is supported by UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation and the Sandberg Institute.
Hungarian filmmaker Moldovanyi Ferenc
This year's jury member for the Junior category will be Mr. Ferenc Moldovanyi, a renowned Hungarian film maker. He has worked as an independent film director and producer in projects such as "The Way", a documentary shown at over 30 international film festivals and winner of several awards. His last documentary feature "Children - Kosovo 2000" was also awarded and shown at many prestigious festivals all over the world.

Responsible Advertising - One-day conference in Brussels

This conference, from independent Brussels-based newspaper European Voice, will bring together all the major stakeholders either directly or indirectly involved in advertising to children. It will look at existing advertising codes across Europe – both statutory and self-regulatory - and seek to illustrate through a series of speeches and panel debates where they do and they do not deliver, what scenarios are likely in the future and whether 'nutrient profiling' of food and drink products should be used in advertising regulation. Also to be debated is the role that media literacy programmes play in relation to audiovisual policy. The conference asks key stakeholders to set out their vision of the future model for regulation of this sector.

OneMinutesJr workshop on prime time TV in Iceland

Icelandic State TV broadcaster RUV visited the OneMinutesJr workshop in Reykjavik last Wednesday (Oct. 20th) - the news piece from the 19:00-news can be seen here.

Dutch broadcaster aims at youth with news project
The Dutch public broadcaster NOS will start a new website and a 15-minute weekly news broadcast aimed at the youth, named NOS Headlines.
The project is due to start on 1 January 2005. NOS Headline will fill the gap between the special news show for children and the adult news, for which a certain knowledge of the topics is necessary. The website will combine short news and so-called slow news as feature stories and in-depth interviews.
"Youngsters don't want to be approached as a special group", according to project leader Tanja Jadnanansing. Therefore the NOS has chosen the neutral name Headline. The University of Amsterdam has conducted research into the project.

OneMinutesJr workshop visited by Minister of Education
Iceland's Minister of Education talking to the young filmmakers in the UNICEF Iceland office - UNICEF/MAGIC - 2004
Thorgerdur Katrin Gunnarsdottir, the Icelandic Minister of Education, Science and Culture today (Oct 20th, 2004) visited the 20 young filmmakers producing OneMinutesJr films in the Icelandic capital Reykjavik.
The teenagers showed a number films they have already produced on the topics "youth democracy & youth participation" and discussed their ideas with the Minister.
OneMinutesJr workshoppers talking to the Minister - UNICEF/MAGIC 2004
Tomorrow they will present all 20 films at the Nordic Council's Conference on Education and Youth Participation in Selfoss, Iceland.
The flags of the Nordic Council's members  - UNICEF/MAGIC 2004
The videos will soon be online at www.theoneminutesjr.org.

OneWorld/MTV Staying Alive 2004 Update
Great news for everyone sending in entries for the OneWorld/MTV Staying Alive 2004 VIDEO and AUDIO Competitions. There are now even better prizes to be won. In addition to having your PSA (Public Service Announcement) streamed on both OneWorld and MTV's websites, and receiving a glass plaque commemorating your achievement, winners will now receive SONY equipment to help create future productions.
The deadline for submission of entries is fast approaching - 11th November 2004 - so there's no time to spare in the race to complete those short films. Remember each PSA on HIV/AIDS you enter should be between 30-60 seconds and should focus on women and girls. The competition is only open to young people aged between 15 and 34 years of age.
For more information about the competition see the main competition pages: VIDEO COMPETITION - AUDIO COMPETITION

OneMinutesJr workshop starts in Iceland

20 young people from Iceland, Greenland, the Faroer Islands, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland are meeting in Reykjavik to produce OneMinutesJr films on "youth participation and youth democracy". The films will be shown next week at the Nordic Council's Conference on Education and Youth Participation in Selfoss, Iceland.
The Scandinavian broadcasters RUV (Iceland), SVT (Sweden) and YLE (Finland) will produce a 25-minute documentary on the workshop that is to be shown on public TV later this year.
UNICEF Iceland website

"We're not all obese, lazy, drug-taking hooligans."
So said a child reporter from the Children's Express, fed up with negative reporting of children.

Positive Images - Young People Now campaign wins backing from ministers

MPs, youth organisations, journalists and young people have expressed their support for Positive Images, Young People Now's campaign to improve the portrayal of young people in the media.
The Positive Images campaign was launched at Westminster on Tuesday.
It aims to encourage the media to report on young people in a balanced way. It is also asking youth workers and young people to be more proactive in promoting positive stories.
As part of the campaign, Young People Now has created a draft media code that will be sent out for consultation with journalists, young people and youth groups.

Internet rife with peril for youth
It happens so fast. All I want to do is have a look at the Internet chat rooms police warn parents about. But I can't just watch. Men, attracted by my tender 13 years -- that's how I portrayed myself for this research -- can't resist.
This is how police patrol the Internet for adults who are trying to lure teens or who are trading child pornography.

Children's TV is more than kids' play
Children's television is a mega global business. Some of the multimillion-dollar numbers involved are enough to bring tears (of joy, that is) to the eyes of the most hardened City investor. So what are we to make of the news that ITV, Britain's premier commercial broadcaster, is considering selling its children's airtime to Nickelodeon?

Nominations for the 32nd International Emmy Awards were announced on October 4, 2004 at a press conference in Cannes (France) by the International Academy of Television Arts & Sciences
There are 28 nominees in 7 categories. The nominated programs in the Children & Young People category are:

  • 31 MINUTOS - #10
    Aplaplac/Television Nacional de Chile (TVN)
    KRO in coproduction with Cordaid
    (The Netherlands)
    A Granada Kids Production for Channel 4
    (United Kingdom)
    NPS Productions
    (The Netherlands)

Joint Message by UNICEF, UNESCO, UNDP & ILO on the occasion of World Teachers' Day, 5 October 2004

On World Teachers' Day, and on any other day for that matter, the basic message that a teacher needs to receive is quite simple. "We appreciate you". That message cannot be repeated often enough, by those of us in the United Nations family and by those who interact with you every day. We highly appreciate you having chosen this profession, one so fundamental to society, and the fact that you continue in it, despite - and often because of - the challenges you face. We value the initiatives you take in opening doors of knowledge and tolerance for each girl and boy. We are aware of what your profession demands of you, of your responsibilities and of your rights. We acknowledge the difficulty of your task, and the fact that it takes professional training and a decent work environment to teach well. We appreciate the care you take to direct your knowledge at children with special needs, and your awareness that all students have individual needs. We value your ability, developed through training and experience, to listen to your students and to shift the responsibility of being a learner from your shoulders to theirs. In sum, we appreciate you, and we call upon parents, community leaders, business people, trade unions and government officials, especially educational authorities, to find a way, this World Teachers' Day, to tell you just that, in their own words and in their own way.


The Spanish National Committee for UNICEF is today (Oct.5, 2004) launching a new website aimed at young people, www.enredate.org, as part of its Education for Development programme. It will have discussion fora, and articles written by young people. A UNICEF release says the idea is to try to help children understand the complexities of the global reality, and to stimulate thought and participation.

media literacy award®

mediamanual.at host annually a competition - the media literacy award® (mla) - for the best and most innovative educational media projects in European schools. The following can be entered for the mla: Video,Radio,Print media & Comics, Multi-media. Entries in these categories should be innovative, amusing, original, exciting and/or experimental. Mini-dramas are as welcome as research projects in as far as they are unusual contributions to the theme. A jury will assess the entries and the best will be presented.

Youth set sites on a media melange
Young Australians are turning their media choices into a "virtual media playground" in which their desire to juggle even more is growing.
According to a new study of more than 7000 15-24-year-olds, the internet is taking up more of their interest and time but they are not giving anything else up.

It's the kids killing time
Many parents are unaware of the level of violence in the games their children play, writes Steve Meacham. It's an horrific symbol of what constitutes children's play in the modern era, says Dr Cathrine Neilsen-Hewett. "I've seen five-year-old children who can sit at a computer console and quite skilfully and easily decapitate a human being."

Exhibition of 14 young photographers to open in Warsaw on Monday (October 4, 2004)
A photo exhibition called "Europe in 2004: Democracy and Human Rights" will open in Warsaw on Monday, 4 October, in conjunction with the start of the OSCE's Human Dimension Implementation Meeting, Europe's largest human rights and democratization conference.
Fourteen young photographers, including three from Poland, will exhibit photographs related to democracy and human rights. The photographs are the result of a leadership/ photojournalism workshop organized by the renowned photo agency VII in Paris and the non-governmental organization Altemus.
"Photojournalists play a critical role in building the open society and independent media necessary for democracy," says Gary Knight, a member of the VII photo agency, in an introduction to the exhibition.
"By documenting human rights and democratization issues, photographers raise public awareness, create the impetus for change, and fight injustice," adds Christine Medycky, Director of Altemus. "The need for such independent witnesses is especially important in new democracies where the chaos of the transition has led to xenophobia, intolerance, marginalization, corruption, and violence."

Study on children's use of technology
Mobile phones, internet and satellite user numbers are up among younger users aged between 5 and 13. Time spent on books is level on par with an average of 2 books a year. The figures are part of a research carried out by Doxa-Junior 2004, presented by Disney and Doxa analysing behaviour and exposure to media as well as consumer habits among children aged 5 to 13.
According to the study 29% of the sample owns and uses a cell phone, up 2% on 2003. Broken down according to subgroups incidence increases in children aged between 12 and 13, an age at which 76% of the sample owns and uses one, a percentage close to that of adults. New technologies have also affected spare time behavioural patterns. 30% of children's spare time is spent in front of a computer, hence on average of 2 hours per day, ahead of TV. Broadcasting side, satellite channels are more and more familiar to children, with two thirds of the sample being able to recall the name of at least one satellite provider. PC use is also constantly on the rise: 63% of the sample has a PC at home, and 56% use one regularly. 39% has an internet connection. Book reading habits are stable with most children reading no more than 2 books per annum. 64% has read at least one in twelve months. A mere one out of four reads on a regular basis. Preferences range between adventure, fairy tale and comic books. Favourite weekly publications feature Mickey Mouse (1 man readers) followed by the radio times, Cioe' and Il Giornalino. (AGI) - SOURCE

International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB) - Help build a safer world - Sunday, 12 December 2004

For this year's International Children's Day of Broadcasting, we encourage broadcasters to help children learn and tell other children, and adults, about how to help build a protective environment in their community. Children have the right to live in a safe world. Everyone must play a part in creating a safer world.

Os sem Playstation - Emir Sader (in Portuguese only)
Aproxima-se mais um Dia das Crianças. Antes que a mídia projete as cenas de compra nos shopping centers, vale a pena chamar um pouco a atenção sobre as crianças que não possuem Playstation, nem o 1, nem o 2. Estas são, aliás a grande maioria das crianças.

Sarajevo Conference 2004 - Making Europe and Central Asia fit for children - Final report now online
Masha Sirotkina, a young reporter from Russia, at the Sarajevo Conference - UNICEF/MAGIC 2004
Hosted by the Governments of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Germany, the Second Intergovernmental Conference on Making Europe and Central Asia Fit for Children (Sarajevo, 13-15 May, 2004) focused on five areas for priority action: investing in children; children moving across borders; violence against children; social exclusion; and cities fit for children.
FINAL REPORT (pdf - 380 KB)

Batken is famous for rocky soil, apricots...and Radio Salam
By Galina Solodunova (UNICEF Kyrgyzstan)

Now and then an ominous mixture of mud, rocks and water the height of a man blocks the road. Windscreen wipers can't cope with the pouring rain and hail, and vehicles grind to a halt. In some places, drivers rush from their vehicles to help clear the road. A journey from Bishkek, the capital of Kyrgyzstan, to the southern province of Batken that should take three hours takes seven in the stormy summer of 2004.
Batken province, the poorest province in Kyrgyzstan, is not an easy place to reach or to live. Natural disasters and inclement weather do little to help. But the rocky soil does nourish lush gardens of apricots in the pockets of flat land surrounded by mountains. For local people, Batken means rocky soil, apricots and… Radio Salam. Who are the most respected people in Batken? Locals list the sculptor Torgunbai Sydykov, Askar Shadiev, Governor of the province, and Maksuda Aitieva, Director of Radio Salam.
Schoolchildren cheerfully divide the history of Batken in two eras: before and after Radio Salam began to broadcast. Radio Salam came to life on 12 April three years ago with support from UNICEF in partnership with Internews and the International Tolerance Foundation. UNICEF continues to support this radio station, which tackles the concerns of young people.

War in Children's Television
Children today are increasingly aware of such events as the war in Iraq in 2003 and the terror attacks of September 11, 2000, not least due to their high media presence. In this day and age, attempting to shield them from these topics, the approach advocated in the USA during the war in Iraq, is an unrealistic aim. For in an increasingly global world even crises and catastrophes that take place in countries thousands of miles away do become a topic in children's daily lives. What is the meaning of this development?

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