August 5, 2008

PUBLICATIONS: Media by and for Youth and Children

Media by and for Youth and Children


Deborah Walter (ed.)

Gender and Media Diversity Centre

Publication Date



This section of the fourth edition of the Gender and Media Diversity Journal, published by the Gender and Media Diversity Centre, explores youth, children, and the media, including the participation of youth and children in creating programmes, learning media literacy, and bringing children's issues into the public eye for dialogue.

Celebrating Youth Media and Proposing a Way Forward by Mimi Brazeau

According to this article, Plan West Africa engages with children and communities to promote and protect children’s rights by creating radio programmes by and for young people. Since 1995, it has produced radio shows and extended the production and broadcast of youth radio programmes in 11 West African countries. In 1998, Burkina Faso was the first country to launch Plan's child rights radio campaign. Through the project, children acquire communication skills, technical/vocational skills, and problem solving skills. The author states that they gain self confidence through theatre workshops and participate in dialogues with their parents. As stated here, evaluations show increased empowerment and hope for change in the participants. New technologies are increasing their desire to be part of the social dialogue.

Child and Youth Participation in Health Media by Daniel Walter
From the abstract: "Involving children in media to raise awareness about health-related issues is not only essential to creating good programmes, but also to empowering young people to be active members of the community. Examples of programming by and for young people show that children and youth bring unique perspectives to media programmes, and that once empowered, can successfully create programming that can impact positively on themselves, families, and communities." The article points to participatory radio as a forum in which young people can create programming relevant to their own issues. It poses the question: "What is participatory?", and responds with: "The most visible and successful youth participation programs are usually those that incorporate the ideals of 'genuine and effective' participation, i.e., an environment in which young people are involved in every step of the process from planning to evaluation. Challenges to 'genuine and effective' participation include: getting adults to let go; creating an environment at home or school where participation is serious and encouraged; overcoming cultural norms that children should be seen and not heard; and generating enough funds to sustain projects." The examples of theory into practice include several projects of Community Media for Development (CMFD) Productions: a series of programmes produced by youth teams at the World Summit on Media for Children; Portuguese language radio public service announcements on human trafficking produced in a participatory process with youth; and a participatory seminar to create a series of magazine style radio broadcasts at the National Children's Radio Seminar 2004.

Media Literacy for Learners by Sikhonzile Ndlovu
In June 2007 Gender Links (GL) launched its first Gender and Media Literacy course for young people, with the goal of equipping young people with skills to look critically at the media, as well as use it to their advantage. According to the author, young people observed gender bias in the media, became internet literate, and gradually shifted from being consumers of media to creators of media.

In Practice: Together We’ll be Ok -Children in Distress
Founded in July 1996 and based in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, the Children in Distress Network (CINDI) brings together over 100 member organisations who collaborate in the interests of children affected or orphaned by HIV/AIDS. Its goal is to provide them with a continuum of HIV/AIDS care and support. Members work together in clusters for close collaboration among those with expertise in a particular area. The clusters are: a) Community Development Cluster (CD); b) Home-Based Care Cluster (HBC); c) Psychosocial Support/Schools and Youth Development Cluster (PSS); and d) Children-in-Care Cluster (CIC). As an example of collaboration, various members of one cluster pooled their knowledge and compiled a booklet (in English and isiZulu) and created a poster in response to concerns about sexual abuse of children.


Lydia Byarugaba
Systems Administrator
Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)

Gender Links
9 Derrick Avenue

South Africa
Tel: +27 (0)11 622 2877
Fax: +27 (0) 11 622 4732

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