Year : 2007
All over the world children are often left out of activities in which they are perfect capable of participating, are seldom listened to, and receive less than sufficient space for self-expression. Even so, they regularly appear in media. In news stories they are repeatedly described as vulnerable victims, as young delinquents, or as charming accessories. These are distorted depictions, which do not represent the realities in which the children live. This is due to the fact that such stories are rarely based on the children’s own words, nor do they pertain to issues they care about. They are entirely produced by adult journalists.
As the importance of media is growing across the globe, the limited participation of children in the media and the way they are described in media products is becoming a serious problem. This has prompted action in the form of international meetings and declarations, as well as an array of child media projects. In the child media projects, children themselves are producing material for the media. They are writing articles, producing radio shows, and shooting movies that discusses the issues that concern them and that give a fair representation of who they are and what their lives are like. This report describes some of these child media projects across the African continent, creating a general overview of the issue of Child Media and providing a background for the African Child Policy Forum’s involvement.