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Children still grow up separated from their families in Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Communicating the Message Right, by Understanding the Audience. NAESMI and UNICEF Work Together to Improve the Quality of Children’s Programming for Television
Every family with young children under the age of seven knows how much time children spend watching TV, among million other things they do every day. Children are open, receptive, curious and eager to seek new information and apply it quickly.
There is global evidence that quality TV programming helps children learn and develop fr om early years. However, television professionals are constantly trying to understand how to communicate with children in ways that are age-appropriate, culturally sensitive, inclusive and positive, that help build self-esteem and confidence, and perhaps most importantly, are interesting and engaging.
In August 2017, UNICEF and National Association of Electronic Mass Media (NAEMM) brought together 22 young journalists from all over the country to discuss how the quality and content of children’s programming could be further improved in Uzbekistan. The workshop facilitated by the international expert was one of the learning opportunities organized by NAEMM as part of their traditional annual media camp.
The workshop participants exchanged views on how to produce participatory television programming based on the stages of the child’s development, and ensure that it instills positive social values in children from early age. The topics of equity, inclusiveness and child rights were also in the centre of the discourse.
The practical and interactive workshop walked the participants through the key components of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, steps of the audience-centred planning process, formative research and other elements critical for improving the quality of children’s television.
“The experience that we gained here is crucial for all of us as TV producers. We had an opportunity to listen to children of different age groups and understand their communication needs,” – said Aleksandra Baybekova from MY5 Channel in Tashkent. “I am excited to work on the programmes that support children’s development and aspirations,” – Aleksandra concluded.
The workshop was followed by a 5-day practical laboratory in MY5 Channel TV Studio wh ere the participants had an opportunity to apply the concepts and theories they learned during the workshop, and worked on creating TV programmes for and with children of different age groups.
“Now, I know what kind of questions I should ask my target audience, so they feel more confident and talk to me openly,” – said Rukhsora from Youth Studio in Samarkand. “It is so important if you want your programme to connect with your audiences,” – she added.
As part of their ongoing partnership, UNICEF and NAEMM will continue to focus on quality television and children’s participation as critical factors in fulfilling the rights of all children.
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