May 3rd is World Free Press Day!

Today, May 3rd, is World Press Freedom Day, to make us all remember that freedom of expression and freedom of the press are fundamental rights, and that information is an entitlement of each individual.

But where are children in the media?

Children are often reported on, and while it is an essential step to inform the larger public on the state of children’s rights, the depiction of children in media can often be misleading. Children are too often shown in negative stereotypes such as violent teenagers, starving children in Africa, victims of disasters and so on, more often than not without their permission. 

patronising attitude towards young people limits the space that they can own in the media sphere, and excludes their voices from the public debate on children rights.

CRIA wants to ensure that children and youth are seen as individuals and citizens with as much a right to express their view and opinion than an adult. We believe that the media have a role in promoting awareness of child rights, but also in helping children be actors and realise their rights and in holding institutions accountable. Children are not passive witnesses to the politics, conflict, and culture on which journalists report. They are active participants, and they are as impacted by current events as adults. 

So, for this very special day, the CRIA Team wanted to introduce this very special young lady who proves everyday that journalism is for everyone with the drive to do it, no matter your age
 

 

Hilde Lysiak, 14 years old, is the living example that children can also be journalists. Lysiak created her own newspaper, Orange Street News, when she was only 7, is the youngest member of the Society of Professional Journalists, interviewed Malala Yousafzai and was awarded the Junior Zenger Award for Press Freedom in 2019! She is a fierce defender of children rights and their voice: 
“I don’t think people should be able to decide for me who I should be and what I should be doing. I never began my newspaper so that people would think I was cute. I started the Orange Street News to give people the information they need to know… I want to be taken seriously. I’m sure other kids do, too.”
 
Inspiring right? We really believe that you can do it too! If you suddenly feel like channeling your inner journalist, note that CRIA has a “Youth as Reporter” section where you are free to submit your articles.
 
Photo courtesy James Morehead/Google.

 

 

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