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News note

First newspage by and for children launched in Iran

TEHRAN, 24 August 2006 – The first edition of a children’s newspaper, written by and for children in Iran, hits the news stands today after a group of youngsters from Tehran attended a journalism workshop – supported by UNICEF - in the offices of a local weekly newspaper.

‘Tickling’ - which will be inserted into all the district editions of Hamshahri Mahaleh – contains five stories, including an interview, a diary, vox pops from children about the page and a story on the workshop together with photos of all 14 children. There is also a short section describing the long-term objective of the page.

“We want to be the voices of all children in all districts of Tehran. We want to let all people and officials know about their happiness and success as well as their sadness and problems” reads part of a group statement by the young journalists in the first edition.

Fourteen aspiring reporters between the ages of 12 and 15 worked with staff from Hamshahri Mahaleh to produce ‘Tickling’. The hope is that soon every district will have its own page written by and for children from that area.

The workshop – which took place in July - was facilitated by MediaWise, an organization based in the UK that employs working journalists to give training on media and children’s rights. They also taught the young people skills in reporting, interviewing, researching and editing.

The children spent a day following a local journalist on the beat. They then had to write up their own article from the view of a teenager.

Staff at Hamshahri Mahaleh learned about the relevant articles in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, how to give guidance and how to get the most out of young people.

“This first edition reveals just how much talent and ambition there is amongst young people in Tehran,” said Miranda Eeles, UNICEF Communication Officer in Tehran. “Tickling is proof that when you give children a voice, and the right guidance, they can speak out eloquently and with maturity on issues that concern them.”

Hamshahri Mahaleh weekly has a circulation of around 300,000 and is one of Tehran’s most popular newspapers. Each district of Tehran has a different version - in this way the paper reflects the issues relevant to that area of the capital.

The 14 children who took part in the workshop were selected by Hamshahri Mahaleh after they advertised for volunteers for the project. They come from different districts of Tehran and some of them have already had their work published.
For 60 years UNICEF has been the world’s leader for children, working on the ground in 156 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence.  The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS.  UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.

For more information, please contact:

Miranda Eeles, UNICEF Communication Officer: Tel + 2259 4994; meeles@unicef.org

Bahareh Yeganehfar, UNICEF Communication Assistant: Tel + 2259 4994 byeganehfar@unicef.org




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