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UNICEF brings "magic" to the international Emmys Festival

New online initiative aims to harness the power of the media to benefit children

NEW YORK, 24 November 2002 -- UNICEF launched a new website which showcases media projects by, with and for children called MAGIC at the International Emmys Festival in New York today.

Media Activities and Good Ideas by, with and for Children or MAGIC is a comprehensive, international resource of information, advice and best practice on children and media. The MAGIC Bank, a searchable online database, includes examples of media projects from all over the world that have had a positive effect on children.

"UNICEF has long recognized that the media can be a potent force for change. MAGIC is an attempt to harness the media's influence for the good of children everywhere. The website highlights media efforts that involve, inform, and empower children and young people," said Marjorie Newman-Williams, UNICEF's Director of Communication. "We want adults and children around the globe to share ideas and be inspired by the work of others to create their own imaginative approaches to all media disciplines."

Child participation is an integral component of all UNICEF endeavors. It is the theme of this year's State of the World's Children Report, which will be released on 11 December and is the basis of The International Children's Day of Broadcasting (ICDB), which will celebrate its tenth anniversary on 8 December.

UNICEF developed MAGIC, with funding from the Norwegian Government, in response to the Oslo Challenge of 1999, which called on media professionals, educators, governments, organizations, parents, children and young people themselves to recognize the enormous potential of the media to make the world a better place for children. The website translates this challenge into practical action.

All children have the right to freedom of expression, as affirmed in the Convention on the Rights of the Child. The projects featured in the MAGIC Bank are compelling examples of what adults and children can do together to create meaningful, positive media experiences for children.

Among these projects are:
· A network of child journalists across north-west Haiti, trained in media skills and child rights issues, who produce radio programmes, a website and a magazine;

· A community-based human rights and media project by and for girls and young women in Egypt;

· A training programme that helps children affected by war, exploitation, poverty and abuse in Eastern Europe use the media to voice their ideas, needs and opinions;

· A musical production in the Philippines that enables children living or working on the streets to discover and cultivate their talents.

The MAGIC site (www.unicef.org/magic) also contains a full briefing on the Oslo Challenge; an examination of the relationship between children and the media; codes of conduct for media organizations; and extensive links and contacts.

"The media plays an ever increasing role in shaping children's view of the world, themselves and their future," said Newman-Williams. "The MAGIC site is a treasure-trove of information and good ideas that will be a powerful tool for all those dedicated to using the media to help children all over the world grow into healthy, productive adults."


For more information about MAGIC contact:

Marian Rivman, mrivman@unicef.org, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 326 7270 or

Regine Kachtiane, rkachtiane@unicef.org, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 326 7185

For more information about the International Children's Day of Broadcasting contact: Jeannette Gonzalez, jgonzalez@unicef.org, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 326 7278

For more information about the State of the World's Children report contact: Mitchie Topper, mtopper@unicef.org, UNICEF NY (++1) 212 303 7910




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