Encouraging the Media to take young children seriously

Published July 27, 2011

Lessons for the BvLF from the Global Media Forum (BONN, June 2011)

The Director-General of Deutsche Welle, Erik Bettermann

Highlights of this report:

  • Young children were everywhere at the recently concluded World Global Forum in Bonn (20-22 June 2011) – yet they were nowhere.
  • Images of young children were everywhere.
  • Pious mention of children was everywhere.
  • Substantive discussion of young children was nowhere, neither in oral presentations nor in literature available at the conference.
  • The session which the Bernard van Leer Foundation (BvLF) shared with the Voices of Africa Media Foundation (VOAMF) proved the exception.

What BvLF can learn from this experience of successful engagement with media.

Choose the right partner(s) and venue.
Know how to bring in and keep the audience.

Wider lessons for BvLF about participation in media-related events:

  • Children’s interests are implicit in many discussions and can be made explicit.
  • Join related constituencies: e.g. sessions on women are a good place to insert discussions of young children.
  • Highlight young children’s issues in the countries that are of current interest to the media.
  • BvLF’s three strategic goals were easy to insert in discussions at the Global Media Forum.

Strategies for BvLF to engage effectively with the media.

Read report – Encouraging the media to take young children seriously