4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents
19th to 23rd April 2004, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Report by YA Marisha

5 Young Achievers, Sarah, Jennifer, Khairul, Amanda and me together with Uncle Sabri, Aunty Wati and Uncle Sonny set off half way around the world to attend the 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. After a tiring 25-hour flight with stops in Singapore and Paris, we finally reached the beautiful city of Rio de Janeiro with long stretches of sandy beaches, hilly mountains, peaceful parks and the outstanding statue of Christ on top of Corcovado Mountain. What a great host city I thought! 

            The 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents is the outcome of years of hard work, aimed at providing an experience of change, which will touch the hearts and minds of those committed to making quality media accessible to children and adolescents all over. As we all know, in today’s modern world, media plays such an important role. It isn’t just a form of entertainment anymore, media now has the power to influence and change the society. Thus, what is projected in the media has to be of high value and of quality to the audiences, especially children and adolescents. 

            On the very first day of the summit, 19th April 2004, all delegates went through a series of registration process that was followed by a welcoming lunch. The following activity was a very lively icebreaker, where all youth delegates held hands and danced around the whole tent constructed specially for the youth conference. By this time, everybody was on their feet and busy introducing themselves to other delegates. The whole afternoon was filled with “getting-to-know-you” workshops.  Despite the language barrier, all the delegates still managed to have fun. The day finished with a spectacular performance by Antônio Nóbrega, a famous Brazilian performer. He certainly got everybody’s feet moving. 

            The second day brought more serious work. After the official opening that was attended by the mayor of Rio, the youth’s workshops begun. All youth delegates were separated in to 8 different workshop groups. The workshop groups are as follows:·        TV

·        Radio

·        Internet

·        Art and Culture

·        Animation

·        Audiovisual Critique

·        Scriptwriting

·        Youth news agency 

The very first activity that the groups did was painting of t-shirts with a group logo on it. Groups also went into short discussions on activities that their group will be doing over the next few days. 

            On the third day however, something different happened. During the screening time, a few of the youth delegates got together to express their views on the summit and its progress so far. Many were not happy as the workshops are concentrating on workshop activities rather than discussing and making decisions on the Multimedia Charta. This resulted to a small commotion in the auditorium where representatives spoke to the adults on what is not right with the workshops and how to improve it. The final conclusion was to abolish the workshop activities and start discussing on the Multimedia Charta. However, those who were still interested in the workshop activities were free to carry on. 

            During the Summit, the Malaysian Children’s Television Foundation had its soft launch there. In a small room, MCTF screened footages of the YAC Mission to Iraq video and a video clip of an interview with Mr. Kofi Annan, the Sec-Gen of UN. The launch was officiated by Ms. Regina de Assis, the President of MULTIRIO, organizer of the 4th World Summit. 

            Early the next day, groups were busy discussing issues and ways to overcome media problems to be presented at the plenary sessions. All 8 groups would send 1 representative to summarize the ideas that had been discussed in the groups. At about 11am, the plenary session started. All 8 representatives had a chance to talk and all points were noted down.  By the end of the plenary session, many proposed ideas had been put forth into the Multimedia Charta. 

            That evening, a musical performance took place in front of the cafeteria. This musical performance included the salsa and the ever-famous samba. All the delegates didn’t matter which continent they came from, joined in the fun. 

            It was pretty sad that the following day would be the last day. Everybody had already made so many friends. However the closing ceremony was great for the Malaysian team, as we did a presentation about the YAC Mission to Iraq, MCTF and issues of children and media. During the closing ceremony, the Multimedia Charta was presented. Two versions of the Charta were unveiled: - the adult’s version and the children’s version. The ceremony ended with the announcement of the next venue for the 5th World Summit, which will be held in South Africa in 2007. 

            With that, the 4th World Summit on Media for Children and Adolescents came to an end. For some it was a joyous moment, but for others it was hard to part with new friends. 

All in all, the summit was a success. It really brought together youths from all round the world to come and make a stand. And we certainly did. One of the strongest messages that was transmitted to all adults in the media corporate world, was “Work with us, not for us”