Media literacy (2018)
Children are growing up with media since early childhood. What kind of impact does this have on their development?
There are numerous studies showing how violence in media can contribute to increased aggression in children, as well as how educational television, for example, can teach children important skills. Clearly, the impact that media have on children depends, in the first place, on the media content to which they are exposed.
According to the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, children need to be protected from harmful media content. At the same time, the Convention says that children have right to participate in the media and have their voices heard. Therefore, media education and media regulation are not mutually exclusive.
For this reason, UNICEF is uniting efforts with Montenegro's Agency for Electronic Media, to, at the same time, protect and promote children in media. The aim of the campaign is to promote media literacy among parents and children, to improve the quality of media reporting on child rights issues and to raise the quality of media programs for young people in Montenegro.
Let's choose what we watch is the campaign key message, but using media is just one part of the story. This campaign is about helping children grow up into media literate citizens. This means that they will not only be able to choose what they watch every day, but also to analyze and critically assess what they are watching, as well as to produce different media contents and share them with others in a safe and responsible way. From this point of view, media literacy is an essential part of the “democratic citizenship“.
Parents, schools, media, NGOs and government need to work together to raise media literate citizens and build a more democratic, inclusive and healthy media environment. For this reason, the campaign has partners from all sectors of the society.