Famous young artist Vučić Ćetković joined the campaign of the Agency for Electronic Media and UNICEF “Let’s Choose What We Watch” and on that occasion, together with his primary school art teacher, Radmila Mišković, organized an art workshop for children.
Famous young artist Vučić Ćetković speaking about the importance of critical thinking and media literacy in Podgorica, June 2018 – UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018
On Friday 8 June, at 11:00, Ćetković and the children presented their works on the topic “Let’s Choose What We Watch” in the premises of Vlado Milić Primary School in Podgorica.
“The influence of the media on us and on the lives of our children will depend on the way we use the media. Through critical thinking and media literacy programmes, children develop their resilience to all media messages. This is crucial for media content of poor quality, whose broadcasting cannot be prohibited by law. In addition to this, it is impossible to isolate children from all bad media messages in today’s digital age, which is why media literacy is the only solution,” explains Ćetković.
Fourteen-year-old Tea Raonić explained that her group worked on the topic “Let’s Choose What We Watch”: “Our work represents a picture of a happy family and parents who send their children to their bedrooms, because the TV programme being shown at that moment is not appropriate for their age. Their parents, therefore, believe their children should not be watching it, while some children disagree.”
Twelve-year-old Nikola Vukčević had a clear message for his peers, but also for adults: “My message to peers is to watch more culture- and education-related broadcasts, because we can learn from them, and to avoid reality shows, because they can make us less smart and cannot help us grow up properly. In my opinion, such shows do not do any good to adults either.”
Tea Raonić (14) explaining how her group worked on the topic “Let’s Choose What We Watch” in Podgorica, June 2018 – UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018
Media literacy is the ability to use, analyse, critically evaluate and create different media content. The Deputy Minister of Education, Arijana Nikolić-Vučinić, thinks that this is necessary for all children in the 21st century.
“Various classes, such as art classes, computer science and technology, can be used to develop media literacy in children. Teachers need to use these classes to show children how to analyse media content using questions such as: Who made it? Who was it made for and for what purpose? This approach leads to critical thinking,” explains Nikolić-Vučinić.
School principal Biljana Ćulafić believes that it is impossible to isolate children from various media content in the digital age and that priority should be given to educational measures. “We are pleased to see that this campaign leans on content we are already dealing with in the subject syllabuses and that we are taking an educational and not a repressive approach. Children must learn how to assess the content and develop criteria for analysing what is good in the content, what is bad, what they should adopt and what to dismiss. In a word, we need to develop their critical awareness towards media content, as well as towards all social and other phenomena they may encounter in their lives,” Ćulafić concluded.
Nikola Vukčević telling peers to watch more culture- and education-related broadcasts in Podgorica, June 2018 – UNICEF Montenegro / Dusko Miljanic / 2018
Research conducted around the world shows that children need guidance right from their first encounter with the media. This kind of guidance is primarily the task of their parents.
However, in order for children to grow into media-literate citizens, parents, schools, the media, NGOs and the government must work together. Therefore, media literacy is not the sole responsibility of parents, but of the entire society.
“In addition to raising awareness and strengthening the media literacy of children and parents, the aim of this campaign is also to help the media improve its capacities, not only in terms of creating children’s programmes, but also in terms of ethical reporting on matters concerning children,” explains Elvira Ceković, the PR of the Agency for Electronic Media of Montenegro.
It is for this particular reason that UNICEF, together with the Agency for Electronic Media of Montenegro, launched the campaign “Let’s Choose What We Watch” at the beginning of 2018.