|Media Access by Malawian Youth
Malawi is becoming media saturated and as a result the country’s youth are experiencing unprecedented access to media products. In a day many urban Malawian youth are bombarded with locally and foreign generated information from at least a newspaper, a radio broadcast, a TV broadcast, a street advertisement, the internet, a CD, a DVD, or an MP3 player. Unfortunately, the type of education that most Malawian youth are exposed to does not prepare them to live meaningfully as producers and consumers in this media saturated world.
Attitude of Malawian Youth towards the Media
Ironically, amidst this media boom many Malawian youth tend to take media messages for granted. They do not understand why media messages exist, how they impact on them, and have no skills for critically analysing media messages. Consequently, they do not only ignorantly develop undesirable and risky media consumption behaviours and habits which hinder their intellectual and social development but also do not exploit existing opportunities for communicating their thoughts and views using various Information and Communication Technologies.
Why Malawian Youth Should Not Take Media Content For Granted
The fact that meaningful understanding of media messages mostly requires sophisticated listening, reading and viewing skills cannot be overemphasised. Most media use sound, texts and images in ways that surpass young mind’s ability to differentiate between illusion and reality or fact and fiction thereby robbing the youth opportunity for social and intellectual growth. Authentic research shows that there exists a relationship between media habits of the youth and various aspects of their lives such as academic achievement and world view, to name but a few. In other words, a distinction is drawn between good and bad, and responsible and irresponsible ways of using the media.
Aim and Objectives of the Youth Empowerment Media Seminar
This Youth Empowerment Media Seminar has been designed to enlighten the youth of Malawi about media uses and effects and to familiarize them with various Information and Communication Technologies at their disposal. This aim will be achieved by pursuing the following objectives:
- To empower the youth to make informed choices and decisions about their media consumption behaviours and habits.
- To equip the youth with skills that will enhance and/or increase their understanding and enjoyment of various media content and forms.
- To equip the youth with knowledge and skills for communicating their ideas using various types of Internet-based communication technologies.
Workshop Theoretical Framework
The Youth Empowerment Media Seminar is theoretically grounded in an important educational concept named Media Literacy which is defined as the ability toaccess, analyze, evaluate and create media in a variety of forms. A media literate person is able to:
- Communicate his/her thoughts and views creatively using all sorts of media
- Analyze messages that inform, educate, entertain and sell things.
A media literate person demonstrates rare critical thinking skills which empower him or her to question both plain and hidden messages communicated through different types of media including the internet, music CDs, video games, movies, radio programs, advertisements, television, magazines, newspapers, etc thereby uncovering their values and motives. Thus the Youth Empowerment Media Seminar is all about educating the youth to enjoy various types of media and to use their content to make informed real life choices and decisions in an environment where the media are aggressively competing with and/or replacing traditional sources of information and values such as family, school, community, and religious institutions.
- Youth of all walks of life (secondary school students, school leavers, and college and university students) in their personal capacities or as members of youth organisations, clubs, and societies based in schools, communities, or religious institutions, and many more
- Adult leaders of youth organisations, clubs and societies are encouraged to attend.
- Interested organisations, clubs, communities, societies, institutions, etc have opportunity to request us to organise workshops specifically for their groups at their chosen place and time
- Introduction to internet based media genres and ICTs (VOIP, E-Mail, Web 2.0, social media, blogs, twitter, video conferencing, etc
- Principles of sound, image and text (print, video, film, internet, etc)
- Media Effects (covers what researchers say about how media use affect youth’s real life experiences such as academic achievement)
- Career talk (a presentation about careers in the Media, Communication, and ICT sectors)
Dates: To be Announced
Time: To be Announced
Venue: Zomba, Blantyre, Lilongwe, and Mzuzu
Fees: To be Announced
Main Presenter: Sydney Kankuzi – Holds a Master of Arts in Media, Communication and Cultural Studies, is Managing consultant of Progress Media and Communication Consultants, and lectures at Chancellor College,
University of Malawi
Guest Presenter: Bennett Kankuzi – Holds a Master of Science in Computer Science, is Managing Consultant of B4C Software Engineering Consultants, and lectures at the Malawi Polytechnic, University of Malawi
Inquiries and Registration: Sydney Kankuzi (0888 514 659)
Special Message to Parents and Guardians:
You cannot save your children and dependants from negative media influence by banning the use of television and other media in your homes. It is a fact that the youth have access to a wide range of media outside the home and school environment which is far beyond parental and guardian control. The best solution to this challenge is to equip the youth with knowledge and skills that can empower them to make appropriate choices and decisions concerning their use of media products. Furthermore, in the present media saturated environment it is imperative for you parents and guardians to equip your children and dependants with knowledge and skills for using various Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) to communicate their thoughts and views with the rest of the world instead of them being passive consumers of media products. We are looking forward to meeting your children and dependants at the workshop!
Inquiries and Registration: Sydney Kankuzi (0888 514 659)