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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Thinking of Tomorrow: Nurturing Child Participation in TV Programming
UNICEF has partnered with the National Association for Electronic Mass Media (NAEMM) to develop quality media programs for and with children. In the week of 10-15 August 2016, the team of UNICEF facilitators conducted a 6-day workshop for young reporters and other NAEMM staff who focus on children’s TV programming. This event was part of the NAEMM’s annual media camp. Media experts from all over Uzbekistan gathered in the picturesque spot in Samarkand region to learn from the international experts and to share experiences with their colleagues from other regions.
Throughout the week, UNICEF team interacted with fifteen enthusiastic participants on the issues of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, participation, communication theories and to build a set of skills required for creation of children’s TV programming that is engaging and audience-oriented.
The participants added creative ideas and enthusiasm to the workshop and identified key issues to be addressed through television in consultation with children. By the end of the learning activity, they have been able to produce two 1-minute long advertisements, called Public Service Announcements (PSAs) on the issues of handwashing with soap and water, and the harms of getting addicted to ICT technologies.
The participants also developed the script and storyboard for another PSA that focused on early childhood development issues. In addition, two concepts for new children’s television programs have been developed and discussed.
"Getting to work with the kids from the neighbouring community on our video spots was a great eye-opener.” - says Guzal, a young reporter from Navoi. “It is much more effective when children are engaged at every stage of design and production. We also liked to assess wh ere we are on the ladder of participation and wh ere we aim to be."
"I had no idea how this much communication theory could fit into six days, but as we learned about the behaviour change communication, I could see that all of us are also changing our attitudes and behaviours towards child-centred programming. I'm thankful to the team of facilitators for that." – adds Sherzod, a young reporter from Tashkent.
The outcomes of the media camp interventions were discussed during the international conference held in Samarkand on 16 August 2016. The media experts invited from different countries outlined the recommendations for NAEMM for strengthening non-government media in the country.
Dr. Barbara A. K. Franklin, Communication Expert invited by UNICEF noted that there is a great potential for continued development of children’s TV programming in Uzbekistan if there is a sustainable investment made by NAEMM in this area.
Global researches show that modeling positive behavior change on television influences children’s idea of what is normal. Such children’s programming has the capacity to contribute greatly to the positive development of children and youth in Uzbekistan.