Serbian round table “Media habits of primary school students, and what about digital magazines for children”

Within the Erasmus + project “Young journalists today, responsible digital citizens tomorrow” in which our school “Dositej Obradović” from Ćićevac participates and which gathers participants from Northern Macedonia, Croatia and Romania, a round table was held on June 20, 2022 on the topic: Media habits of primary school students, and what about digital magazines for children. In the age of digitalization and the growing need for media literacy of young people, we have reached important conclusions, which we forward to you this way.

The round table was dedicated to the media habits of the elementary school students, how and where they are informed, whether they have the necessary media skills and whether there is a need to develop a platform at the national level that would serve to inform and convey positive messages to the children and the young.

The round table was attended by:

Jelena Marković- (via zoom application)a journalist of the local portal Centar Press, associate of national portals and participant in several projects for children dealing with the topic of media literacy

Natasa Krkić – a psychologist and the president of the youth office

Snezana Antic – a teacher of the Serbian language and literature

Miodrag Dimić – a teacher of the English language and literature and one of the participants in the project

Tamara Milić Mihajlović – a teacher of the English language, participant in the project, leader of the media section and editor-in-chief of the digital school magazine “Đačka Iskra”

Biljana Vuckovic – a teacher of IT and Technique and Technology, and the project “Young journalists today – responsible digital citizens tomorrow” coordinator for Serbia

Students members of the media section, journalists of “Đacka Iskra” and project participants:

Saška Krkić, Jovana Vidačak,  Janja Pekić, Milan Todorović, Vojin Paunović, Mihajlo Pantić, Ena Mićić and Milica Popović

The round table was also attended by the parents of the students, and the members of the Student Parliament. The welcome and introductory speech was given by the school director Biljana Erdeljanov.

The moderator was Aleksandra Ivanović – teacher of the English language and literature and participant in the project.

At the round table the participants emphasized the idea that the launching of a digital platform on which the users themselves, the children, would have the main say, would be of great importance for the development of media literacy. In order for the professional public to pay attention to the lack of quality digital content for children at the national level, we convey the conclusions of the round table with the hope that they can start an initiative that would result in the launch of such a medium.

Conclusions of the round table “Media habits of primary school students, and what about digital magazines for children?”

The ubiquity of digital media as well as their popularity with the younger generations indicates a clear need for content that would serve as a counterbalance to the harmful and negative content that children currently access. The participants of the round table propose the creation of a platform that would unite content that would be created with the help of experienced journalists by young journalists from all over the country, but who would have to comply with ethical standards and promote positive messages.

In this way, by allowing young people to express their opinions, a step forward would be made in terms of exercising children’s rights to free expression and opinion, as well as the rights to information stated in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Such a medium would serve as a place where children could receive important and useful information, become media literate, civic and environmentally literate, communicate with other young people and receive positive messages related to common interests and problems.

In addition, it would be possible to promote successful and talented people, thus providing children with positive role models. It would be necessary to remove from the content any kind of covert advertising and fake news that have flooded the social networks on which they are currently being informed.

Everyone agrees that the success and popularity of such a medium could be achieved only by the children creating for the children, so we suggest that the contents of existing school digital magazines be available on such a medium, as well as it having writing competitions and being open for proposals that would arrive.

The children’s digital platform would help the realization of the children’s rights, media literacy, but also the promotion of positive life values. All of this has an exciting potential for proper development and transmission of the positive message to young people in a language they understand and are attracted to. We believe that having in mind the benefits of such a project, in order to prevent commercialization, it would be necessary to allocate funds for financing and launching such a medium.

Our roundtable was spoken of in the media. Find in the attached video from 5,28 to 10,25. /Tamara Milić Mihajlović/

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