This 46-slide presentation was offered by the Brazilian organisation Agência de Notícias dos Direitos da Infância (ANDI) [News Agency for Children's Rights] at a December 2005 meeting of The Communication Initiative (CI)'s Partners, who gather annually to guide the strategic direction of the organisation. The second day of the 2005 meeting featured a number of presentations from CI Partners on the theme of "measuring communication impact" (click here for additional background, and to access all the presentations from that meeting).
This particular presentation begins by exploring the strategies and methodologies that inform ANDI's communication-centred work, which in 2005 spanned 11 states in Brazil and 10 countries throughout Latin America. The organisation's strategic pillars include:
- Mobilisation around the theme of media and social responsibility; work around this theme is informed by a focus on contextualised information, agenda setting, and social control. Specific projects around this theme have included:
- Daily news themes provided to more than 1,000 journalists across Brazil
- Monthly bulletins of in-depth news suggestions
- A permanent help desk offering one-on-one assistance to journalists
- The "Child-Friendly Journalist Project", which involves recognition of media professionals (327 to date, as of this writing, from all over the country) who champion children's rights issues
- The Tim Lopes Award for Investigative Journalism Projects on Sexual Violence against Children and Adolescents
- Media monitoring - for example, the publication of an annual report with data on the strengths and weaknesses of newspaper coverage of child- and youth-related issues (with a ranking based on 18 variables), as well as the production of 18 books with the results of quantitative and qualitative analysis of editorial content on issues such as poverty, violence, education, child labour, drugs, and health
- Analysis and capacity building - for example, seminars and workshops in which over 1,600 journalists have participated.
Another ANDI strategy has been interfacing with the academic world. Collaborative experiences have included participation in national meetings of communication researchers, presentations of ANDI's media analysis to universities, support for undergraduate and graduate research, and development (in partnership with universities) of courses on social public policies.
One specific communication tool ANDI draws on in carrying out its work is the internet. ANDI's own website has approximately 8,000 pages as of this writing, with more than 3,000 organisations included in its Informations Databank. The ANDI Latin America Network has its own website, and 2 virtual communities have been established for journalists and students: Acción 17 and Ação 17.
Having outlined ANDI's strategies, the presentation offers an impact analysis. Several specific examples are provided here, organised around the themes of:
- Agenda setting - illustrations are from Guatemala, Venezuela, Bolivia, and Brazil - to cite only one, an independent survey of the Child-Friendly Journalist Project described above found that 97.54% of the media professionals agree that the project has improved the quality of coverage, 97% agree that it has influenced editors and directors to open more space for childhood issues, and 85% frequently use the Directo ao Assunto (news themes suggestion bulletin) as a source for their stories.
- Social control - illustrations are from Argentina, Paraguay, and Brazil - to cite only one, in 2004 ANDI issued a special bulletin with suggested news coverage related to the government's attempt to "clean the streets" by imprisoning streetchildren in army facilities. ANDI "managed to get media coverage and expose the removal plans....As a result of a massive public mobilization, the Paraguayan Minister of Childhood withdrew its support for the proposal, which was later discarded by the administration."
Next, several charts are offered which outline increases in coverage on issues related to children and adolescents, sharing specific data from its monitoring of 45 newspapers between 1996 and 2004. The analysis found a total increase of 1,148.74% in this period. Progress on the coverage of specific issues - such as education, violence (general), sexual violence, child labour (general), domestic child labour - is also detailed here. Specific comparisons between the monitoring findings of ANDI Brazil and the broader ANDI Latin America Network are also offered.
The final section of the presentation explores challenges that ANDI hopes to take on in the period 2006-2010. The organisation plans, for instance, to develop new methodologies for media monitoring so that television and radio - as well as the printed press - can be included in its analyses. Advocacy work will continue to be a core focus, with possible work to spur coverage of the general elections (this could be an opportunity to inspire democratic participation and advocacy for children's rights) as well as promotion of public policies that strengthen social control by the press. ANDI will also work to stimulate debate on Latin America's communication policies, and will lobby media owners to commit themselves to the child rights agenda. ANDI expects to continue its collaborative work as well, such as by deepening interaction with journalism schools (perhaps through distance learning initiatives) and by sharing methodologies with other countries (e.g., those in Africa). Finally, improving monitoring and evaluation (M&E) systems will be a key ANDI emphasis.