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Give voice to children, media professionals urged

By Funmi Ajumobi
KARLSTAD—THE media have been advised to provide children from all backgrounds opportunity to form their opinion and be heard on issues relating to their well-being.

This advice was given by Thomas Rohlinger of Radijojo, Germany, in a paper he delivered at the seminar entitled, ”Giving Children A Voice.”

Rohlinger said this could be done by allowing children to debate on problems and enabling them discover the answers themselves. He said that children seemed to know more about themselves and the world around them.

In another paper, entitled: “How to get your children to be interested in the news,” delivered by William Bird of Media Monitoring, South Africa, media professionals were urged to write and show reality news and not those on violence that had the potential of putting off the children.

Bird said: “It is time for the media to begin to bother on what violence news does to the children as media display the freedom of expression.”

Mr. Per-Olof Olsson of Mediegruppen, a Swedish Media Relations group, educated participants on why some issues became great news and others passed without anybody caring.

He lectured participants on 10 most important characteristics of news reporting, journalism methods, and how editorial desk works.

Jan Steen and Paal Stensaas alsso spoke on “Entrepreneurship and Journalism for Young Refugees.”

They shared how they helped young people gain optimism and knowledge to create their own jobs.

They noted that Somali youths were trained and guided to start their own newspaper company, Hagadera News Corporation, which serves over 100,000 Muslim refugees in the world’s biggest refugee camp in Dadaab in Kenya.

Steen and Stensaas said through the company, the Somali youths began a number of affiliate businesses which included photo coverage for people and events, cell-phone renting, copy services etc. Participants were informed about how to develop the talents of disadvantaged children and youth as a way of giving them hope and modest income.


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