Chenai,Dr. Avnish Jolly,18 July:Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development (RGNIYD), Sriperumbudur is an autonomous institute of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India and also a partner agency of United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) in implementing the Adolescent Health and Development Project. RGNIYD implemented the project for the year 2007 successfully.
In continuation, RGNIYD has started implementing the Adolescent Health and Development Project for the year 2008, assisted by UNFPA. In this project one of the major and new initiatives is Media Literacy programme.
Dr. A. Radhakrishnan Nair, Project Head, Adolescent Health and Development Project, RGNIYD shared that under this activity, RGNIYD has planned to organize a “National Level Workshop in Media Literacy for Adolescents” on 28th & 29th July 2008 at its campus. In this workshop, they have planned to invite eminent personalities from among Media, Academicians, Activist and Journalist, NGOs etc., to chalk out the programmes on reaching adolescent issues to the adolescents and various stakeholders and to develop guidelines, to make adolescent aware on their issues and concerns through various kinds of Media with following objectives:
• To explore the potential of Media and to reach out to the Adolescents regarding their issues and concerns.
• To chalk out programmes to enable the Adolescents to select the appropriate information from the media publicity
• Need to Advocate Needs of Disable Adolescents’ with reference to Child Abuse, Drug De-ad diction, Reproductive and Sexual Rights and HIV/AIDS
At the threshold of the twenty-first century, media are an ever more pervasive presence in the lives of adolescents. In the current trend adolescents are immersed in media-rich environments that exert a strong influence on their overall development, which may end up with vulnerability to various situations.
Media literacy is a relatively new approach, in helping adolescents to make informed decisions about their health, education, etc. Decades of research has shown that the media do affect adolescents’ – aggressive and sexual behavior, physical appearance and eating disorders, as well as use of alcohol and smoking.
Media are the most powerful medium in the present scenario. Media entertain us, inform us, and help us connect to our community and the world. Given the barriers to significant changes in content, however, it seems prudent to look for other ways to reduce the potentially harmful effects of the media on adolescents’ health, education, career, personality etc. Media literacy is a potentially fruitful strategy to empower the adolescents. In this workshop eminent personalities from among Media, Academicians, Activist and Journalist, NGOs etc., will be invited to chalk out the programmes on reaching adolescent issues to the adolescents and various stakeholders.
The media influence on adolescents are seems to be more as negative sides like leading to fad and fashions, smoking, drinking, junk food consumption, etc. Whereas, the academic, educative, recreative and cultural part is getting sidelined. The adolescents should be taught about the goodness and badness of the media and to enable them to select the good one for their betterment.
Dr. A. Radhakrishnan Nair expressed that to share the experience of the participants, there will be different types of activities in the form of presentations, group discussions, individual sharing etc., in the field of media literacy especially in the context of adolescents. In these workshop a handbook or guideline will be developed, which comprises of the activities which can be taken up to orient the peer educators of the teen clubs formed by RGNIYD. In turn the peer educators will utilize the suggested activities in their respective schools or community to reach the adolescents effectively.