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WADADA News for Kids

WADADA News for Kids

"Young people and children are insufficiently represented in the media. The programmes that inform children in a responsible and professional way and give them a voice are scarce."

Communication Strategies: 

An international crossmedia cooperation, WADADA News for Kids offers children and youth around the world an opportunity to not only understand and relate to the world they live in but to have their own voices heard in media designed by and for them. This concept encourages children from an early age to become active participants in their society; according to Free Press Unlimited, this affects the global public debate and can lead to social change. This is in part because WADADA programmes not only reach the children but also parents, schools, and sometimes the government. Altogether, the network reaches over 100 million people.

WADADA News for Kids is a weekly international programme featuring news, opinions, and stories from the perspective of children and youth. Issues such as child labour, corruption in schools, and innovative solutions for bullying are brought to light by these programmes. To make them possible, WADADA News for Kids runs a 24/7 online newsroom, an online video library where all broadcasting materials are uploaded and exchanged (e.g., children from Myanmar also learn about the lives of children in Suriname, and vice versa), and on-site trainings in which professional media production training is provided and local teams are given the lead. WADADA News for Kids guides and coordinates these local teams in producing responsible programmes that are meant to reach their intended audiences and empower them. Topics that children themselves are interested in are addressed, and extra attention is paid to communicating a positive message with a learning objective.

Click on each country in this list on the WADADA News for Kids website to read about the specific country programmes and to watch videos.

Development Issues: 

Children, Media, Rights

Key Points: 

Free Press Unlimited contends that everywhere in the world, children and youth are eager to tell their own stories and share their opinions as they discover what is happening around them. However, according to the organisation, in most countries, media outlets and media makers do not show interest in the stories of children and youth. "Governments have not regulated and enhanced an environment in which children and youth rights are respected and dedicated media is produced. Universities and schools of journalism have no curricula focused on producing media for children and youth. Parents and schools are not challenging children to use media for their benefit."

The organisation continues: "Children and youth should have the necessary tools to interact, interpret, participate and criticize media....Without quality media especially tailored for, about, by and with them, children and young people will have difficulties to construct an accurate and relevant worldview, let alone determine their own position in the world."

Free Press Unlimited is a not-for-profit media development organisation that works in roughly 40 countries worldwide on over 80 projects aiming to support, sustain, and develop independent journalism. Its mission is to ensure that impartial news and information are available to people across the globe, particularly in countries where there is no to little press freedom. By supporting local media professionals and journalists, Free Press Unlimited aims to help people gain access to the information they need to survive and develop. Activities include but are not limited to: organisational and individual capacity building; editorial and journalism learning; financial and investigative reporting; development of technology-based innovations for learning and teaching; monitoring/advocacy for media law reform; information networks in repressive states; emergency support to media organisations and journalists; and development of innovative methods and technologies to protect and capacitate journalists to make safe use of the internet.

In 2015, Free Press Unlimited conducted an audience survey in 12 participating WADADA News for Kids partner countries, in which the reach and impact were analysed of the WADADA News for Kids network along with the importance of having bulletins with news for children in these countries in general. Based on the results of this study, it can be argued that children in WADADA News for Kids countries who watch a WADADA News for Kids bulletin become, in some form, more informed and feel engaged with and empowered.

Partner Text: 

Developed with the support of the Dutch Postcode Lottery.

Contacts (user reference): 
See video

Email from Maarten Visser to The Communication Initiative on July 2 2018 and emails from Leon Willems to The Communication Initiative on July 11 2018 and September 17 2018; and WADADA News for Kids website and Free Press Unlimited website - both accessed on September 26 2018. Image credit: Free Press Unlimited

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