Representation Process of Content for the Kids Need more Emphasis   

Media Practitioners and researchers deeply discussed the appropriate representation process of content for child audiences.

Media Practitioners and researchers deeply discussed the appropriate representation process of content for child audiences.

They urged practitioners to focus on the whole package programme before presenting the content to child audiences.

Communication Talk, Episode 23 organized by International Communication Club held on 05 August, 2021 titled on “News for youth: visioning and producing news for kids.”

This session has been moderated by Nancy Jennings, advisor of International Communication Club and professor of Communication at University of  Cincinnati, USA. 

The panelists of the session were Maya Götz, head of International Central Institute for Youth and Educational Television named IZI of Prix Jeunesse Foundation, Germany, Jan-Willem Bult, head of children, youth & media of Free Press Unlimited and also the chief editor of WADADA News for Kids in Netherlands, Mthoba Chapi, director and multimedia content producer of Vuselela Media in South Africa, and Sandra Cadavid, director of multimedia content production company, Global Democracy and Development Foundation, Dominican Republic.

To inform about the kind of content that is being produced for children around the world, first, discussants talked about the content they produce for children and their distribution process, then a discussion continued about important lessons learned from producing and researching children’s news.  

Jan-Willem Bult, chief editor of WADADA News for Kids, put emphasis on the age of audiences. He said, “According to age of audiences, media strategy becomes also different. There has no big differences between 40 and 45 aged people but there has huge differences between 8 and 12 years aged people as their view-points change time to time. Putting eyes on the audiences, there comes differences in story telling process, different use of camera angles, sound, video editing and connection between content and audience and, topic relevance to make the show more fascinating.”  

About child presenters, Jan-Williem Bult opined on getting in touch with audience.

Here he related, “Different aged presenter can make different connection with audiences. Here majority group of the society, trust of parents of the children’s are also facts. Sometimes it’s seen that audiences can easily believe in adult presenter more than child presenter.”

He also focused on understanding the meaning of the news. He proposed to be more alert about representation. He stressed that “Understanding the true meaning of the news is very much important in the case of kid’s news.”

Sandra Cadavid, director of multimedia content production of Global Democracy and Development Foundation, Dominican Republic focused on what particular topics in which children are interested.

She stated that “We broadcast many contents in which kids feel interested like environment related or animal life related things. Beside that we focus on self-recognition of children by themselves like how the show reflects them.” 

She told about a totally different presentation style by a humorous parrot with an adult presenter who presents the news for audience. The show mainly focused on humorous content for children.

She also added an example of pandemic that “We can provide information about pandemic with telling them about giving emphasis on the protection process. Besides we can tell about practical tools for online education and how they can achieve goals during pandemic using the tools. We can provide contents on children’s role for their community, family and society so that children can achieve their actual recognition.”

Maya Götz, Head of IZI, talked about different things like cultural ethnic background, racism and diversity while presenting the news to audience to make the connections. 

She commented, “Sometimes explanation of news, sound that used in delivering the content frighten the kid’s audience. We must focus on kid’s sensitive contents.”

She mentioned radio to access information and added that “8-year-old aged child get news from social media or from rumors that can be dangerous for them.” Then she told a beautiful example of Denmark that in school in Denmark students were allowed to watch TV news during lunch time. So she thought it to be a good thing to let children get to the news but here she emphasized, “It must be focused that which news is actually made for children.”

Mthoba Chapi, director and multimedia producer of Vuselela Media in South Africa, talked about some examples of current events like COVID-19 and before broadcasting to children he focused on the whole package format of representation.

He again discussed the lockdown situation and told about the package format to represent and educate the children rather than using frightening contents.