11 October 2002 – It’s probably fair to say that the 1999 Oslo Challenge does not figure prominently in the memory banks of media professionals or governments. Perhaps it should. For, just for a change, this is good news. What the Challenge does is to recognise the tremendous benefits that the media can bring to the lives of children across the globe. More importantly, it spells out ways in which this can be done.
It has taken time to get the message out, but this week a new website has been launched under the auspices of UNICEF to tell the world what is happening in the interface between children and the media and to enable all those interested to take part. You can find it at www.unicef.org/magic
The PressWise Trust, represented in this instance by Mike Jempson and Anna Kelson, is proud to have played a major part in the construction of the Magic site, as it did in the formulation of the original Challenge, which sought to promote:
• Children’s right of access to the media, including new media
• Children’s right to media education and literacy
• Children’s right to participate in the media
• Children’s right to protection from harm in the media and violence on the screen, and
• The media’s role in protecting and promoting children’s rights
As a result, the Oslo Challenge Network was set up for professionals and organisations working in the field of children and the media to share information and ideas. This network – now known as the MAGIC Network – communicates through an email group. If you would like to join this group, just go to the “Join MAGIC” section of the website.
(Bulletin No 74)