Without question, this generation is the media generation… Anything that takes up this much space in young people’s lives deserves our full attention.
Generation M: Media in the lives of 8-18 year olds. Kaiser Family Foundation, p60.
Why is it needed?
Media stories, characters, stories about how the world works provide a toolbox for children. What they view and hear teaches children how (and if) they fit into the world, and what ways they may fit into the world later as ‘grown-ups’.
As Marshall McLuhan, media guru, puts it:
“Anyone who thinks there is a difference between education and entertainment does not know the first thing about either”
BUT IN AOTEAROA/NEW ZEALAND
• Overseas content, and imported consumer values, dominates their media experiences
• Children learn to become followers and copiers of imported fads
HOW CAN WE MAKE THINGS BETTER?
• We need content targeting children and young people that tell local success stories and provide local role models
• We need a way to tell stories that help our children embrace difference both within their social world and wider within in our multi-cultural communities.
• We need content that helps children solve social problems, that helps them set new goals.
• We need stories to help them dream dreams of a rewarding ‘grown up’ life.