January 22, 2019 - The quality of media programs for children and youth in one country directly shows the quality of life of that country, said Jan-Willem Bult, director of the Center for Children, Youth and Media in the Netherlands, the UNICEF Office in Montenegro stated today.
At the opening of the Prix Jeneusse Media Training on the production of quality TV programs for children and young people, organised by the Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF, Bult emphasised that for the creation of quality programs for children and young people their participation is essential.
"During my daily work with children, both with preschoolers and with the youth, I learned a lot about them. We mutually influence each other. I think the attitude of adults who create programs for children and young people should be the following: I learn from you, as you learn from me. With this attitude, you will grow together, and this is the only way to create a quality program for children," says Bult.
Director of Montenegrin Electronic Media Agency Abaz Beli Dzafic says that the goal of AEM and UNICEF is to support Montenegrin media to strengthen the capacity to produce quality content for children and young people.
"We want our media to justify the trust that children and young people point to and to be a medium that will enable them to develop their intellectual, social, analytical skills," Dzafic said.
UNICEF Head of Mission in Montenegro Osama Kogali recalled four basic UNICEF criteria for defining quality content for children.
"The programs for children should be per the age of the children they are addressing. The child should be approached holistically because the physical, social, emotional and cognitive development of the child is interrelated; should be positive and promote the potential of every child to end up with both small and big struggles in life instead of focusing on shortcomings or problems. Finally, it should involve the most endangered children to have positive media representations of young people from different cultures and all socio-economic environments," Khogali said.
"I appeal to the media to make the image of childhood, children and young people of Montenegro more realistic so that they will more often ensure that voices of children and young people from different social groups are heard and by actively involving them in the production of TV programs for their peers," said young journalist Balsa Bozović.
Balsa’s colleague, young journalist Ranko Magovcevic, called on Montenegrin media engage more children with disabilities in their programs.
"Not only because we need them to talk about the situation and the problems of children with disabilities, but they, like all other children, should be involved in talks on all topics related to children and young people," Ranko said.
Young reporter Dunja Sekulovic believes that the production of the children and youth should equally involved the children and young people of minorities.
"All the kids should be visible in media, so the image they create is closer to reality," Dunja said.
Their colleague Sofia Krivokapic concluded that it is essential that programs for children and young people do not promote stereotypes about the role of girls and boys in society.
"So, apart from the same number of girls and boys on the screen, we also want to see girls who are not just beautiful and boys who are not only physically strong. Also, we want female and male superheroes who solve violence without violence and send a clear message to children and young people that this is possible and desirable," said Sofia.
Prix Jeneusse Media Training is a part of the campaign "Let’s Choose What We Watch", launched by the AEM with the support of UNICEF. The aim of this project is encouraging the development of media literacy for children and parents, as well as strengthening media capacity to produce quality media content with children and young people and to report on ethically correct information on all issues of the rights of the child in Montenegro.