17 news for kids programmes from all over the world work together on a daily basis, exchanging footage and making sure the kids in their countries have access to reliable and empowering information. During the summit everybody got together to work face-to-face on important issues and opportunities in fundraising, network building, programme development and in-depth learning about news for kids.
“Nice, warm and committed group of people. So different but at the same time so similar. Human beings showing the best of their essence, and trying to give the future of this world a big opportunity: hope” - Federico Consiglieri, Argentina
Awards at Cinekid
The important work of the news for kids programmes is recognized and celebrated with the WADADA News for Kids awards. This year that took place at Cinekid. Kids, their parents and other Cinekid visitors received the opportunity to learn about the importance of news for kids by viewing videos from the news for kids programmes and by casting their vote for the audience award. De Humo TV (Nicaragua) won the WADADA News for Kids award 2016, I News (Egypt) won the youth jury award 2016, and Hagamos Click (Ecuador) won the audience award 2016.
Kids deserve to know
Giving kids a voice in media can be done in different ways, for example through interviews or testimonials. A way to combine the opinions of different children is to create a voxpop which are short testimonies from interviewees giving their opinion on a topic. How do you design a voxpop question? How do you portray children? What can you ask, what not to ask? During the summit the partners created voxpops items to practice, share and further their skills. Voxpops are often used in news for kids programmes, including in the WADADA News for Kids world edition format.
News for kids programmes also carry the responsibility to protect children from harm. Children's media researcher Maya Götz, from the IZI institute in Germany, made the case in her workshop that WADADA News for Kids partners have to be careful not to copy mainstream media in the “hype” of broadcasting shocking imagery. Rather news for kids programmes need to focus on presenting a different angle, offering solutions and context.
Another important topic at the summit was fundraising. The audience survey that was done in 2015 shows that news for kids is important and empowering to children, youth and their families. Data from studies like this are important to convince potential funders of news for kids programmes. However, other aspects of fundraising are as important. As a network we want to be strong and support each other. However, each country has its own local context and challenges. How can we overcome these challenges as an international network? Where do we place our priority? The summit was important because it allowed the time and space to approach these questions as a community. A fundraising workshop facilitated by Free Press Unlimited resulted in a more clear vision for the network. This vision will be developed further and will also be made available in Spanish.
Can you use storytelling methods as news journalists? Does objectivity and storytelling go together? During the Storytelling workshop organized by StorytellingForGoodGuys the editors in chief learned that as a journalist, you always tell a story, even if you aim to be objective. In order to attract viewers and to make an impact with our news stories, storytelling methods can be used. Storytelling is about making a connection with the viewer, it is about tapping into cultural and universal values.
Twelve years WADADA News for Kids network
In the past years the WADADA News for Kids network has grown quite a bit. The latest newcomers are Mexico and Brazil. The network started as Kids News Network in 2004, as an initiative of Free Press Unlimited, with 10 Minuten Jeugd Journaal in Suriname as first member. At the summit 15 countries were represented, including Suriname and Mexico.
Photos: Merijn Roubroeks