Publication on young people and harmful media content

1 September 2006

UNESCO in collaboration with International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media, NORDICOM/Goteborg University produced a publication on "Regulation, Awareness, Empowerment. Young People and harmful Media Content in the Digital Age".

This book presents a comprehensive review of the field, current knowledge and recent trends on the subject of offensive and harmful media content and the protection of minors, evaluative research on different measures, examples of resources and projects from many parts of the world and, not least important, reflections on protective measures and media and information literacy all forward-looking, with a view to create a better future for our young.

Many parents, teachers and policy-makers are concerned about the negative influence they believe media exert on children and young people. There is particular concern about depictions of violence in the media. But in todays world violence is only part of the problem. There are also pornographic films and images, excessive marketing, stereotypical and disrespectful depictions of young people, women and minorities, hate-mongering messages, and so forth. Interactive media like the Internet also imply invitations to risky behaviour in real life in connection with media use. Violence is no longer an adequate heading; today, terms like harmful media content or harm and offence in media content are more in keeping with the situation. It is this broader term that forms our point of departure in this work.

The title, Regulation, Awareness, Empowerment indicates that whenever protection of minors against media content and reducing the amount of harmful media content are discussed, media literacy and information literacy must always be included. The book is based on surveys different kinds of efforts at raising such literacy, each of which is accompanied by a catalogue of best practices, activities and innovative approaches.

The book is edited by Ulla Carlsson and offers examples of activities and projects with a focus on childrens and young peoples own media production as one of the more effective means to raise their level of knowledge and awareness.

The publication can be downloaded here. Hard copies can be ontained from Hara Prasad Padhy, UNESCO.

Bibliographic entry:

Regulation, Awareness, Empowerment. Young People and Harmful Media Content in the Digital Age . Editor: Ulla Carlsson . - The International Clearinghouse on Children, Youth and Media (Nordicom): Gteborg, 2006 ISBN 91-89471-39-3

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