This document presents a communication for development approach originally implemented by the Brazilian News Agency for Children's Rights, Agencia de Noticias dos Direitos da Infancia (ANDI) [News Agency for Children's Rights]. It includes information on ANDI and its mission, along with discussion of the possibilities of potential contributions of news media to strengthening democracy and protecting and promoting the rights of children. It then presents ANDI's media for development approach and highlights strategies using examples of actions, accomplishments, and relevant results.
ANDI's model consists of the following strategic action lines:
• mobilisation - bringing journalists, media outlets, news sources, students, and other social actors together for media mainstreaming of children's and adolescents' rights;
• media monitoring - collecting, archiving, and classifying all editorial production on the topic of children and youth from a large set of Brazilian and Latin American news sources; and
• capacity building and editorial analysis - analysing news content to provide journalists with tools and opportunities to enhance skills and develop capacity.
ANDI defines its model using the term "social technologies", which are replicable products, techniques, or methodologies developed through close interaction with communities and which embody effective solutions for social changes.
The mobilisation strategies used by ANDI include preparing and emailing to journalists daily news story suggestions focusing on the issues that affect the lives of children and youth and include statistics, and references to legislation and governmental projects. Monthly bulletins provide the same audience of journalists with more in-depth information and foci, for example, issues of sexual exploitation of children at road sides along highways, child domestic labour, governmental budgeting and policies for children, and integration of and accessibility for disabled children. ANDI maintains a helpdesk staffed with personnel to assist journalists with information. A table of indicators shows that news stories on children and adolescents in Brazil rose steadily from 1996 - 2004. The document includes a table of thematic analysis showing the use of statistical indicators in the news stories, reference to legislation, and representation of divergent opinions, which provides support for the mobilisation strategy.
ANDI monitors 54 Brazilian newspapers and 10 magazines of national circulation, as well as 43 daily and regional papers and 59 newspapers from 11 countries in the region. It offers an overview of editorial behaviour regarding children and ranks newspapers by their publication of child-friendly journalism. The monitoring data also provide information on topics that are under-represented, issues that might be reframed, or topics in need of further contextualisation. The use of parameters derived from Human Development Indicators measures whether journalism is able to portray stories from different perspectives regarding race, gender diversity, disabilities, and urban/rural balancing.
ANDI considers the professionalism of journalism education, organisational structure and power balances in newsrooms, and how to prioritise and "sell" economic poverty, development needs, and social interests. To these ends, it publishes a regular "Childhood in the Media "report as an open forum for dialogue between the media and the organisation. It provides an editorial analysis group that publishes special thematic analyses of social issues to provide historical and theoretical information, interviews, a directory of information sources, and a section of tips on improving the way journalism approaches the theme in focus. Capacity building is done through seminars to debate aspects of its thematic studies; training opportunities of half-day or one-day workshops or elearning courses; alliances with universities (including engaging students as interns on its projects); and scholarship programmes and awards for innovative research.
This model has been replicated by ANDI through establishing a network of 11 linked non-governmental organisations (NGOs) within Brazil and 12 (as of 2006) organisations throughout Latin America. The network uses: a tested and validated methodology; frequent training and supervision; information and communication technology (ICT) for linking operations and management throughout the network; a democratic decision-making policy among network agencies; and the principle of institutional, non-hierarchical autonomy for the linked network. These organisations include media groups, journalists, governments, professional associations and training institutions, private companies, universities, media accountability systems, alternative media organisations, the private and public education systems, citizens, and civil society organisations and international agencies.
(Editor's note: This document is not available electronically but it can be obtained by contacting ANDI through the contact information.)
Facing the Challenge: Children’s Rights and Human Development in Latin American News Media, accessed on April 18 2009.