The International Scientific Conference on Children and Media Education in front of new challenges was organized today in Tirana. This conference was organized by Albanian Media Institute with the support of Audiovisual Media Authority (AMA), in the context of activities organized for the 20th anniversary of AMA.
AMA’s Chairman, Mr. Gentian Sala opened this conference by evaluating the works of this conference as an added value and a good moment for the involved actors, media, society and community to reflect on their role.
Mr. Sala stressed the importance that AMA pays to protection of minors and how they are treated by media. It is one of the top priorities of his work.
AMA’s Chairman mentioned that the Public Operator has a role in serve as a model that makes the difference, but also as a point of reference for the media in addressing children’s issues.
He went on saying that “the firs ally of AMA for ethical issues, the diversity and quality of children’s programs should have been the public operator. ARTV has funds. It is not under the threat of advertising revenues, since it is funded by citizens. It has television time. It has 12 channels that could treat diverse topics for children. It has the laws and the potential to receive different programs and disciplines from European counterparts.”
The Minister of Education, Youth and Sports, Mrs. Besa Shahini spoke about the importance of media in the formation of youth and public opinion. The Minister referred some data about media credibility. “More than 50% of the population believes and takes for granted every news they hear”- she added. Mrs. Shahini pointed out that we should be vigilant not to take for granted what the media say to us. It is important to find instruments to educate not only the children but all ages about media functioning and content. Mrs. Shahini invited the experts to give their opinions on the implementation of the textbooks of Media Education in the Albanian schools.
The Head of Albanian Media Institute, Mr. Remzi Lani, emphasized in his speech the seriousness with which we should receive Media Literacy. He said that now it’s the time to include Media Education as a subject in school curriculum, from the lowest to the highest levels. In this way, we will not be blind consumers of what we are served, but we will have critical filters and thinking.
The representative of UNICEF Albania, Mr. Roberto de Bernardi said that the issue of children in audiovisual media should be resolved without delay. However, he admitted that the concept of “media literacy” has changed over time, due to the ever-increasing impact of technology on traditional media. 3/4 of Albanian children, said Mr. de Bernardi, own a smart phone, by means of which they receive information.
The conference continued with a discussion on three panels about specific topics related to the rights of the child in audiovisual media.
The first panel discussion over the rights of children and media education- the international standards and practices. So, European standards and practices on the rights of children and media education were brought as an example. The international experts, media directors and lecturers discussed this issue as a real-world challenge of our time.
The second panel discussion about children reporting in Albanian media: a journalistic perspective. In this case, the first findings of a monitoring of children’s coverage by electronic media were presented. The panel with representatives of AMA, media experts, and the State Agency for the Rights of Child discussed over the situation and the right instruments tools to intervene in improving the reporting and handling of these cases.
The third panel focused on media education and children: a civil society perspective. It discussed the data and concrete cases of media reporting and the consequences that media reporting has on the lives of these children and their families.
first-hand institutions and stakeholders dealing with and addressing the problems of children protection from harmful content were involved in this activity.
Audiovisual Media Authority
Tirana, on 15.05.2019