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News archive

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.

Kids channel Hungama TV to be launched on Sunday

Leading production house United Television (UTV) will launch its first hindi entertainment channel for children, Hungama TV here on Sunday (September 26, 2004). The 24-hour channel will be targeted at children in the age group of four and fourteen years and will have drama, adventure, game shows, comedy, animation and movies, a statement said today.
The channel's ideology is to provide quality entertainment for kids where they will have a platform to share their viewpoints and provide wholesome entertainment. UTV has floated a separate company United Home Entertainment, which is a holding company for Hungama TV.
''With Hungama TV we plan to bridge the long standing gap of an original Hindi channel in the kids entertainment space,'' CEO UTV Ronnie Screwvala said.

Iraqi youth reporter describes life during war
NShayan is UNICEF's new youth reporter in Iraq. She 17 years old and lives in Baghdad. Earlier this year on UNICEF's Voices of Youth web discussion forum, a teenager from Iceland asked what living through a war is like. Shayan answered, sparking off an interesting discussion.
In this radio interview Shayan speaks from Baghdad, describing in her own words what life is like during a time of war (mp3 format). Shayan speaks Arabic, English, French and Kurdish. She wants to be a dentist or journalist and hopes to study abroad. Shayan plans to provide more reports in the near future.
Voices of Youth is an interactive website for young people to explore, join in discussions and take action on issues that are important for them.

Television Workshop "You, Me and HIV/AIDS" Concluded
The Southern Africa sub-regional television and networking workshop "You, Me and HIV/AIDS" ended on Sunday in Johannesburg, South Africa following a week-long exercise in television pre- and post-production techniques. The objective of the workshop was to engage young producers with a new vision in television production and promote a culture of understanding, tolerance, and respect especially for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS.
The workshop proved to be a unique and remarkable experience both for the participating young producers, aged 21-29, as well as for the technical and social trainers. The focus on HIV/AIDS was important especially because many of the producers had not yet encountered a level of exposure that could fully bring them to grips with the reality of the pandemic. Sinzanani Village, which hosts an HIV/AIDS hospice and a care center for orphans among other things, was the perfect location to bring the producers to this realization.

Exciting times for children's TV brands
To an outsider the world of children's television may seem a cosy and familiar universe, if a little boisterous at times. Characters like Hit Entertainment's Bob the Builder have gone beyond their popularity with children to become part of the national consciousness, releasing records and achieving a cult following. Meanwhile, the Teletubbies have recently been named among the 50 most influential UK television shows.

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)

Youth Watch Award: Go to West Africa

The Pan African Film & Television Festival is looking to send one youth video producer of African heritage to a major awards ceremony in Africa. This young person will be the winner of the Youth Watch Award that is part of the Paul Robeson Awards Initiative.
The winning video or film production will be screened in Africa at FESPACO, and the winner will get to travel to Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso in West Africa to attend and receive the award Founded in 1969 in Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso, West Africa, FESPACO is the Pan African Film & Television Festival of Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso.

Recovering from Ivan: Puppets, stories and songs help children cope
When Hurricane Ivan struck the island nation of Grenada, it left thousands of children homeless and in need of help. UNICEF and other UN agencies are helping.and their efforts involve more than getting relief supplies to those who need them.
On Monday, a unique psychosocial programme called 'Return to Happiness' (RTH) will begin in Grenada. RTH focuses on children who are presently living in shelters or who experienced serious distress from the hurricane. The RTH programme takes children through the process of psychological recovery following catastrophic events.
"We are ready to do what it takes to make sure that these children are protected and their rights to health and security are respected," said UNICEF Representative for Barbados and Eastern Caribbean Jean Gough.
Two UNICEF staff arrived in Grenada shortly after Ivan hit, in order to set up the RTH programme. The programme is for children from 6 to 14 years of age; the workshops continue for four weeks. At least 600 children will participate in the first round. Overall, UNICEF hopes to reach 10,000 children with this effort. RTH uses puppets, a family of rag dolls, stories and songs to help children overcome their pain.

Commercial breakthrough - Discussing adverts can help your children become more sceptical, says Frank Furedi
Parents regard television as a mixed blessing. Toddlers are so easily distracted by the box that many mothers and fathers use it as a surrogate baby-sitter - a big brother to their more junior offspring. Letting your child watch, say, Teletubbies first thing in the morning can mean an extra half hour's sleep. Little wonder, perhaps, that more than 30 per cent of four-year-old children have a television in their bedroom. Even less wonder that television has become such a part of our children's way of life.
As most parents know only too well, youngsters pick up a lot of ideas from the magic box. Television advertisements targeted at very young audiences have become an important part of the culture of childhood. According to one recently published US study, the average American child is exposed to more than 40,000 TV commercials a year. Whether we like it or not, commercials play an active role in the socialisation of our children. They shape their desires and aspirations and influence their language.

International Day of Peace

The theme of this year's International Day of Peace -- peace through sports -- emphasizes the importance that sports play in establishing a world of friendship and cooperation among nations. The Olympic Games, the most renowned sport event in the world, have been recognized in many UN resolutions for the contribution they make to building a more peaceful world. As Secretary-General Kofi Annan pointed out in his message to the 27th Olympiad in Sydney Australia, "...Olympic ideals are also United Nations ideals: tolerance, equality, fair play and, most of all, peace."

2004 World Young Reader Prize
The Paris-based World Association of Newspapers (WAN) has awarded newspapers in India and Australia with its 2004 World Young Reader Prize, which recognizes newspapers that devise the most innovative projects to develop young readers.
The Indian winner is The Telegraph in Schools (TTIS) - a weekly newspaper distributed by the English-language daily The Telegraph. TTIS is a 16-page color newspaper geared towards students in primary and secondary schools. 17,000 copies of the paper are handed out to 278 schools every week around Calcutta.
TTIS is written by and for young people. It employs 600 reporters between 10 and 18 years old, and organizes a variety of activities and clubs for young people in the region. In 2004, for example, it helped to send a group of young people to Pakistan as goodwill ambassadors who later wrote about their experiences for the paper.
TTIS shares the 2004 prize with the West Australian, an initiative designed to give students insight into different countries and current events by using the travel and general news sections of newspapers.
" The West Australian offered schools a fun way to learn about the world that highlights the travel section, a part of the newspaper rarely used in newspapers in education programs, and provided a cost-effective approach for the project that doubled sales to schools," said award organizers.
WAN also awarded Jury Commendations to La Vanguardia in Mexico and the Chaniotika Nea in Greece. Special Mention awards also went collectively to newspapers of Brazil for their range of activities dedicated to young readers and to three newspapers in Eastern Europe: Eesti Express in Estonia, Diena in Latvia, and Panon Press Association in Hungary.

Raunchy TV shows are encouraging teenagers to have sex, new research has found
Sexed-up shows such as The O.C, Sex and the City, Friends, Neighbours and Home and Away can double a teenager's likelihood of having sex, the study shows. Adolescents exposed to sex on TV are also more likely to initiate other forms of sexual activity.

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?

Back to School and Gaming Kids
Back to school for many kids means "back to internet access" in classes where the best of filtering software is not foolproof, particularly against seemingly harmless websites used for invasive marketing.

Young TV Producers on HIV/AIDS Meet in South Africa
Fifteen young television producers representing seven countries in Southern Africa embarked on a pilot networking and television programme exchange project yesterday in Johannesburg, in South Africa. The project, entitled You, Me and HIV/AIDS intends to increase young people's involvement in producing high quality television productions that reflect the challenge and the positive spirit of people affected by HIV/AIDS.
" Our objective is to engage young producers with a new vision so that they can produce programmes that promote a culture of understanding, tolerance, and respect especially for people living with and affected by HIV/AIDS," said Firdoze Bulbulia, Director of the Children and Broadcasting Foundation, hosting the event. "But we also want to make sure that this vision does not become isolated and can be shared throughout the African continent, and if possible throughout the world."

New and improved ways to rot your kid's brain!
A new study shows that kids who watch lots of TV ads are more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety, stomachaches and other problems.

One World/Staying Alive World AIDS Day 2004 Competition

If you're aged between 15 and 34 - and feel that you have a lot to say about the influence of HIV/AIDS on women and girls using a microphone or a camera - this is the perfect opportunity to show your potential.
For a second year in a row, MTV and OneWorld are organising a global competition in the run up to World AIDS Day, 1 December 2004. The competition is for young people to submit audio or video public service announcements (PSAs) that convey the messages of MTV's award winning HIV/AIDS awareness campaign, Staying Alive (www.staying-alive.org).
MTV and OneWorld share a commitment to the global fight against HIV/AIDS and this unique collaboration aims to reach an audience at a global and local level. This year entrants can unleash their creativity by developing clips on the theme of women, girls and HIV/AIDS.
Winning PSAs in two categories (one audio and one video) will be streamed on the Staying Alive site, made available to all 26 local MTV web sites and will be featured on the OneWorld Radio and TV websites. The winners will also receive the Staying Alive 2004 Award, an honour given to an individual each year who makes an important contribution for HIV/AIDS awareness.

Using Entertainment-Education to Reach Youth in Mexico
Poverty and overpopulation are two of Mexico's biggest challenges. In Mexico, Population Media Center (PMC) is working with the Adolescent Orientation Center (CORA) of Mexico to produce a series of radio mini-serials mixed with talk shows in the five states of Mexico with the highest fertility rates. These programs have been developed by young people and are aimed at youth audiences.

Tatiana, a Roma girl from Bucharest, looking forward to making her first own film - UNICEF/MAGIC 2004 Lajos (12) filming a scene of his OneMinuteJr movie - UNICEF/MAGIC 2004
OneMinutesJr workshop for Roma children starts in Romania
20 Roma children aged 13-19 from five countries (Romania, Bulgaria, Moldova, Bosnia & Herzegovina & Macedonia) are meeting in Targu Mures, Transsylvania, from September 2-6 where they will produce OneMinute films about their lives, their dreams, their hopes, their hobbies and their concerns. The children come from various social backgrounds (orphanages, homes for abandonded children, etc.) and most of them are already active in media/arts/dance/music groups in their local Roma communities.
UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation and the Sandberg Institute have organized the workshop which is just one in a series of workshops across Europe that aims at child/youth participation in the media and the support of child/youth expression through the OneMinute format.

OneMinutesJr workshop in Reykjavik, Iceland

UNICEF, the European Cultural Foundation (ECF) and the OneMinutes Foundation will organize a OneMinutesJr workshop for young people aged 12-20 from the Nordic countries.

Successful year for Armenian young filmmakers
This year young Armenian filmmakers succeeded in making their way to a number of international children's cinema festivals, where their talent and skills were acknowledged and appreciated by professional juries.
Last year with the support from UNICEF young filmmakers from the "Manana" NGO produced 13 one-minute videos. These included "The End of the Line" film produced by Gor Baghdasaryan, 15, under the UNICEF's "Leave no Child Out" worldwide campaign and 12 videos titled "My Hero" made on occasion of the International Children's Broadcasting Day.
Within the framework of UNIFEM's "Women for Peace in South Caucasus" regional project, "Manana" organized a contest-festival of short films and fiction. As a result, 12 one-minute videos were produced and later demonstrated during the "Youth & Peace" film festival held at "Moscow" cinema. All films have been participants at various international children's cinema festivals which took place this year. In particular, of 400 films presented for the "Videotivoli" Film Festival which took place in Tampere (Finland) in March 2004, only 80, including 10 films of "My Hero" series, were selected for the screening. Additonally, organizers of the Festival held a special session which was dedicated to the films produced by students of" Manana" NGO. Later in March 2004 Manana's talented student Gor Baghdasaryan was invited as a special guest to the Palma de Mallorca film festival for professionals. The festival was attended by representatives of about 50 countries, who brought with them hundreds of films in various genres.
During the festival Gor's 4 films were demonstrated out of the contest, including "End of the Line" and "Preparation". "My Hero" series as well as" Youth & Peace" videos were also screened at a special evening held within the framework of the Festival. The participation of a young talent from Armenia got broad coverage in the Palma de Mallorca print media which spared no words to praise Gor's vision of the realities surrounding him and his unique way to deliver complex ideas and convey important messages.
Another film festival to highlight young filmmakers' talents and skills is coming in Athens on 18-24 June 2004. This international festival titled" Kids for Kids" is organized by the European Children's Film Association (ECFA), International Center of Films for Children and Young People (CIFEJ) and European Children's Television Center (ECTC). Of 44 films selected for the festival, 2 come from Armenia, namely "Sniper" by Hovnan Baghdasaryan produced under UNIFEM's sponsorship and "Grandmother" by Nane Sahakyan from UNICEF's "My Hero" series.
Emil Sahakyan
Information & Communications APO
UNICEF Armenia
tel: (374-1) 523-546/580-174/543-809
fax: (374-1) 543-810
e-mail: esahakyan@unicef.org

Here's a generation wanting to be heard
Young people are passionate about many issues. But politicians won't listen to them, writes Louise Merrington.
Young people today are constantly being branded politically apathetic. It is, however, vitally important to distinguish between apathy and disillusionment. Aside from a few promotional pamphlets from political parties during election campaigns, the younger generations are usually swamped by the superannuation and retirement issues aimed squarely at the prolific and ageing baby boomers.
With so little emphasis placed on youth issues, young Australians are naturally becoming disillusioned. It is very difficult to develop strong feelings for a political party when, frankly, we are given no reason to.


"Lives in Transition: Expressions of Refugee Youth" on display at the United Nations General Assembly Building July 28 - September 30, 2004
Exhibition of photographs and testimonials by Iraqi, Afghani, Sudanese, Somalian, Colombian and Burmese refugeeS will start July 28 to September 30th in the United Nations Building in New York. The intimate exhibition created by National Geographic provides us with intimate portraits of families and community torn by civil wars, ethnic conflicts and poverty.
According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, "Out of an estimated 20 million refugees, displaced persons and other vulnerable groups around the world today, 50 per cent are children." The AjA Project, a San Diego-based non-profit organization dedicated to providing innovative media arts and photography-based educational programs for refugee youth, will be featuring its students' artwork

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