After the successful launch of the twin-town, Alexander and Sandton – venue of the 5th World Summit on Media for Children (5WSMC), the first in a month long national tour of Outreach Programmes kicks off at the Phutaditjaba Community Centre in Alexander on Saturday, 3 March 2007.
The Outreach Programme was established as a vehicle to take the summit to as many children and communities within the country, as a build-up to the 5WSMC. Professionally designed workshops, in the areas of television, arts and culture, radio and animation, will be attended by 150 grade eight to ten learners, all from schools within and around Alexander.
The majority of the facilitators and workshop leaders are young people who are already working in or participating in the areas of television, radio and animation.
These learners, selected from five high schools, Eastbank High School, Minerva High School, Realogile High School, Kwa-Bhekilanga Secondary School and Alexander High School, are part of the advance research and training of South African children in the areas of media development, production, distribution and broadcasting in preparation for the 5WSMC.
The Outreach programme workshops will be conducted in all nine provinces during the month of February into March, right up to the Summit. A party of international workshop leaders will join the South African team early in March, ensuring that as many children as possible, around the country, get the opportunity of learning more about the medium of television and broadcasting in general.
The 5WSMC will take place in Johannesburg, South Africa from 24 – 28 March 2007 at the Sandton Convention Centre and is hosted by the Children and Broadcasting Foundation for Africa (CBFA), in partnership with SABC, ICASA, and the Department of Communication with support from Telkom and MDDA.
The Summit, aimed at professionals and NGO’s already participating in the media and broadcasting industry, will also host a special Children’s Summit where 300 children, made up of local and international child delegates, all between the age of thirteen and sixteen, will participate fully in all events, including a children’s plenary session.
The theme “Media As A Tool For Global Peace & Democracy’ was chosen says Firdoze Bulbulia, Chairperson of the 5WSMC because “the media is a powerful tool and it could be used by governments, politicians and media bosses both for peace and war. However, the proliferation of different media such as Internet Television Networks and Web-Based Television has also resulted in ordinary people being producers of their news, from their perspectives in their backyard. “You Tube’ has offered the world an alternative to filtered, mediated images which are beamed immediately with no time lapses or packaged with a certain nuance. We therefore, need to educate our children to read- between –the- lines and to become the protagonists of global peace and democracy – by being discerning viewers and producers of their own media. ‘
She adds “the Summit will be a global event that includes workshops and master-classes that will assist and enhance the development of both professional and child media producers in the creation of media that is child centered and focused. This 5WSMC is unique in that it will also host a Children’s Film Festival with the same theme of “Peace and Democracy’ and will be creating a framework for an African Children’s Media Policy’.