Thursday, September 11, 2014

Malaysian Prime Minister's wife asks media for quality information to educate children in 21st century
By Rhaydz B. Barcia

KUALA LUMPUR, Sept. 10 (PNA) -- In this digital age where information is just a click away anytime, anywhere by the children, Malaysian Prime Minister's wife Datin Paduka Seri Rosmah Mansor called for quality media information to educate the public specifically, the children, as the future leaders of the world in this 21st century.

Mansor, the keynote speaker, delivered her message before 1,000 delegates to the 7th World Summit on Media for Children from almost 100 countries held at the Royale Chulan Hotel here.

The summit for children focused on media’s role in education.

Mansor said that in this digital age, media can be creative or destructive, which might misinform and affect the development of the children, specifically in developing countries with 2.5 billion children or about one-fourth of the world’s population.

She believes that children are the most precious treasure of the world as heirs and future leaders in the next decade and should receive early quality education through the help of mass media in this digital era.

She said the contractive role of media with exponential power is very important as they could not only capture the imagination of the children but also shape the minds of the children at early life.

On the positive side, Mansor said, traditional media can harness education and inform the people, compared to social media which are without control of right or wrong information in this digital genre.

The 7th World Summit on Media for Children is a high-level gathering of delegates across the spectrum of broadcasters, regulators, academe and the international community from almost 100 countries across the globe.

Dr. Patricia Edgar, founder of World Summit on Media for Children (WSMC), said the challenges of media in this digital age is very crucial to educate the children as the old paradigms are breaking down, following the introduction of information and communication technology in the 21st century.

“The old paradigms are breaking down and old broadcasting models are fast becoming inappropriate and unsustainable. Traditional broadcasters and producers are no longer in charge. Control has shifted to new global players, and young people themselves who, enabled by technology, are reshaping the media landscape. They know what they want, how they will engage with content and they know where they can get it,” Edgar said.

“Our challenge is not such as bad thing if we reflect long and hard about the possibilities offered. The opportunity is exciting, digital technology allows for fresh ideas, new collaborations and new economic models to be tried and explored. It allows for merit to win through. Never before has content and creativity had the potential to free itself from entrenched broadcasting and producer interests,” she said.

“The future requires us to think and act differently, to be bold, imaginative and creative on behalf of children and young people. Long overlooked by broadcasters, learning has been the poor relation of entertainment. Creative and innovative use of media in education could transform teaching into a 21st century model of learning, the founder pointed out, she said.

This is just as challenging to schools as it is to the media industry but progress here is of fundamental importance for children across the globe—particularly in the developing world where 75 million children are not in school, Edgar lamented.

She said media could reach these children and help in their development.

"Media are also central to the process of breaking down education, social and cultural barriers to building tolerance and understanding across the globe. By giving children a voice, facilitating their access and means of distribution, we can assist them in building a new world fit for their future,” Edgar added.

Since the inception of the children summit 20 years ago in Melbourne Australia in 1995, the high-level panel of dialogue being held in Asia for the first time was organized by the Asian Pacific Broadcasting Union (ABU), World Summit on Media for Children Foundation and of Radio Television Malaysia (RTM).

Since then, the summits have visited the UK, Greece, Brazil, South Africa and Sweden.

This year’s summit is not only challenging traditional ideas and practices but welcoming new players, creating new networks and relationships about established thinking to its core.

"It is about helping ensure that a vibrant, creative industry remains relevant, true to its purpose and its child audience," Edgar stressed.

The world summit for children was driven by the belief that media have enormous power and potential to inspire, to educate and entertain and to bring the world together.

"Today’s summit put strong emphasis on the value of media in education, and in relation to social responsibility around issues like AIDS, child trafficking and violence.

The three-day 7th WSMC has for its theme "Media for 21st Century Children."

This stringer was tapped by the ABU to be one of the speakers for print media in the summit that started Monday with the pre-summit workshop to produce strong stories for strong children and how to write winning program proposals.

It stresses children’s media being at the core of public service media, social media trends and feature animation films.

Similarly, it tackles the need of storytelling in the digital age specifically that children are now not reading newspapers and books thoroughly; the uses and abuses of social media; interactive media and games; policy and regulation – in order to raise the profile of kids’ media, locally and internationally. (PNA) CTB/FGS/RBB/CBD/