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Asia-Pacific TV Forum adopts recommendations to improve children's programming

Bangkok (13 March 2002) - Representatives of leading television, advertising, corporate, government and civil society organizations from across the East Asia-Pacific region agreed to a series of recommendations aimed at building sustained partnerships for quality children's television.

The recommendations were adopted at the closing session of the 2nd Asia-Pacific Television Forum, which had as its theme "Children's TV: Partnerships for Quality".

The recommendations included:

  • Making existing producers of quality productions aware of child rights issues and urging them to incorporate those issues in the programmes they are already producing.
  • Encourage and ensure the authentic participation of children and youth in the production of quality children's programming.
  • Using integrated media - on-air, off-air, on-line and on-the-ground - to ensure maximum reach and relevance.
  • Support for training/production workshops in technical and storytelling techniques, as well as exchange programmes for children's programme producers from developing countries with their counterparts in industrialized countries.

Some 100 delegates from 20 countries - representing more than 70 public and private sector entities - took part in the 11-13 March TV Forum, which was organized by UNICEF and the Cable and Satellite Broadcasting Association of Asia (CASBAA), and hosted by the Mass Communication Organization of Thailand (MCOT) and Thailand's United Broadcasting Corporation (UBC).

In a keynote address, Mehr Khan, UNICEF Regional Director for East Asia and the Pacific, said that television's enormous influence on children also brings with it "great responsibility. This includes the responsibility to harness the power of television to reach out to children, to inform them and raise their awareness, to instill in them knowledge and understanding of their own and other cultures, and to stimulate their enormous capacity for creativity and empathy."

The Forum's sessions covered a variety of issues related to children's television programming, including the key roles and responsibilities of television broadcasters, advertising and marketing agencies, corporate sponsors, governments and development organizations such as UNICEF for creating a sustained environment for improved programming. One of the livelier sessions was chaired by students from the Communication Department at Bangkok's Assumption University, who gave their own views on the current state of television programming for children and young people and how it could be improved. Other session themes were: "Programming ideas, outreach and promotions that turn kids on" and "What is good for children is good for business -- corporate and government support".

Among those making formal presentations and sharing experiences during the Forum were top executives and officials from: the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union; the Southeast Asian Foundation for Children's Television; Nickelodeon Asia; Star TV; MTV Asia; the Asian Federation of Advertising Agencies; Disney Television International; Discovery Channel Asia; Turner International; McCann-Erickson; JW Thompson; AC Nielsen; Levi-Strauss Asia-Pacific; the Body Shop; and leading national broadcasters from around the region.

The Forum's recommendations, which will be widely disseminated around the region, will also be introduced at the next United Nations Television Forum in November 2002 and at the 4th World Summit on Media for Children in 2004 in Rio de Janeiro.


For more information, contact:

UNICEF East Asia and Pacific Regional Office
Telephone (66 2) 356 9499
E-mail: ebooker@unicef.org; mthomas@unicef.org; gkeele@unicef.org




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