Monday, January 28, 2013

Radio for Children

© Michel Delorme -
By  Michel Delorme
Children are good at radio. Radio is good for children and listening to children on the radio is good for everyone. They are articulate, interesting and funny.  So how is it that children have been forgotten in radio programming? In Canada, they represent roughly 20% of the population, yet less than 1% of broadcasting concerns them. In developing countries, children make up around 40% of the population, but there is practically no radio programming created for them at all. Everywhere radio is centred on the tastes of adult audiences. Programming addresses people aged 15 and older while children are ignored. Neither authorities nor the media have reflected seriously on the concept of radio for children. 

Despite the declaration of rights or laws, we do not respect children in matters concerning radio. 

Even in countries with progressive rights and legislation, children are often forgotten in radio. The Canadian Broadcasting Act is clear: “through its programming [it should] serve the needs and interests, and reflect the circumstances and aspirations, of Canadian men, women and children.” The indifference of the media encourages the authorities not to respond to the issue of compliance with the Broadcasting Act in respect to children. The question is completely ignored! 

My many years of experience in radio production with children confirms that radio is a medium that is easily accessible to children and that it possesses great development potential — much more than writing or television. Radio is the universe of sound, speech and music. Children will happily step to the microphone to express themselves and to ask questions. Young people are avid radio consumers, but they are also excellent content creators. It is up to us adults to ensure that they are given a voice on radio. 

(Source :  UNESCO)

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