Young people from across Cardiff were given the opportunity to meet the Welsh media at an event designed to open a debate on how children are portrayed in the mainstream newsand to discuss how negative stories can impact on their wellbeing.
Organised by Child Friendly Cardiff, in collaboration with Cardiff Council and Cardiff University, the ‘Children and the Media’ event saw young people, adults and media professionals come together to undertake a deep dive into media portrayals, stereotypes and story choices.
The event saw key speakers – led by young teenagers – take to the stage to talk about the impact the media has on children and young people, how they feel their voices often go unheard and to raise awareness of children’s rights to news outlets in Wales.
The group of 90 attendees heard talks from several speakers including, Sally Holland, the former Children’s Commissioner for Wales and Professor at the Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre at Cardiff University, Zoe Thomas, Editor of English Language Programmes at ITV Wales; Andrew Collins, Digital Communications Consultant for ProMo Cymru; and 14 year-old Arthur Templeman -Lilley from the Children and Young People’s Advisory Board (CYPAB).
The SOLE (Self Organised Learning Environment) event then brought everyone together to collaborate in discussing and researching three key questions:
- How are children and young people represented in the media? And how can we make it better?
- What information do children and young people need? And how can we make it more accessible?
- How can Cardiff celebrate and promote children and young people, and their rights?
Arthur, CYPAB Vice Chair said, “It was a fantastic experience to speak at the Children and the Media event. Professionals and young people had the opportunity to challenge themselves, edging out of their comfort zones, to think more deeply about children, their rights, and how this all relates to the media industry. It was interesting to see the different ways we approached the questions, amplifying the fact that we are all unique, with our own views and perspectives”.
CYPAB Member Logan said, “‘It was a great event to learn more about what Child Friendly Cardiff strives to do and how it’s going to improve things for young people”.
Eshaan, another CYPAB member said, “It was an Insightful Experience to collaborate with other youth organisations, researchers and adult stakeholders and the food was awesome!!
Cabinet Member for Education, Employment and Skills, Cllr Sarah Merry said: “It’s fantastic to see adults, young people and the media collaborating on the best way forward, not only to uphold children’s rights, but to ensure that young people are being included in stories about them and their voices and opinions are heard.
“It is so important that Children’s rights are embedded into all aspects of a child’s life growing up, so they are aware that they’re important, valued and heard. We have come a long way with that in Cardiff as we now have 82 schools signed up to the Unicef Rights’ Respecting Schools Award programme so far.“
Cardiff is the first city in the UK to work with UNICEF as a Child Friendly City programme.
Cardiff has made significant progress in embedding children’s rights into the Council’s strategies and the way in which our young people are supported and nurtured, which closely aligns with the city’s ambition to becoming an internationally recognised Child Friendly City, as recommended by the UK Committee for UNICEF.
To find out more about:
Child Friendly Cardiff, please visit: www.childfriendlycardiff.co.uk
ProMo Cymru, please visit: https://www.promo.cymru/
CASCADE, please visit: https://cascadewales.org/
Children and Young People’s Advisory Board, please visit: