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Kids Radio and Media Association and networks organized a seminar addressing research results of media for children and youth
September 13, 2013

Kids Radio and Media Association and networks organized a seminar which addressed research results of media for children and youth in order to link networks of researchers and academics who conduct a research on media for children and youth nationwide at Convention Hall 2, D Building, 2nd floor, Thai PBS TV Station.

Ph.Dr. Teerarat Vonbgtanaanek, President of Kid’s Radio Club, indicated that though today TV media paid more attention to programs for children and youth, the percentage was still low or only 3 – 5% of total programs. Most contents were cartoons and talks focusing on entertainment and recreation, but they did not cover all age ranges, especially pre-teens (6 – 12 years) who required more than entertainment to enhance their learning and life skills. Therefore, TV producers and executives of all channels were supposed to pay more attention.

Mr. Somchai Suwanban, Director of Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) said that the number of Thai PBS’ programs for children and youth was higher than those of other channels and its programs provided a wide variety of contents for all ages. Besides edutainment that helped children’s development, the programs also focused on improving การแสดงออก skills of children and youth. In the first three months of 2014, the percentage of such programs would increase.

Accordingly, Ajarn Munyat Akarachantachote, committee member of Kids Radio and Media Association and professor at the Faculty of Communication Arts, Chulalongkorn University, revealed results of the research on radio programs for children and youth conducted by the association.  The research indicated that radio became less important, even though, in fact, the media was extremely suitable learning channel for children because it can stimulate thinking process development and imagination better other types of media which require both listening and watching. Nonetheless, from the National Statistical Office’s data on human’s exposure to radio broadcast in these 20 years, it was found that the children aged 6-14years were least exposed to radio, decreasing from 41.9% in 1989 to 12.7% in 2008. One of the main reasons was that each radio station had less number of children’s programs and also less broadcast time or only 1.45%.   

Furthermore, there were many producers who had limited comprehension of art and science in organizing children’s programs. For instance, according to the radio programming, together with children development psychology, children in each age group have different ideas, needs and interests. Thus, to conclude that children are all the same will result in programs which gain no attention from children. It suggests that proactive strategy be applied, that is to promote sound media through different channels, to urge parents and also executives of radio stations to realize the significance of children’s program and raise a fund to support the producers of those programs.  

Regarding the research results of media for children and youth during the past 10 years, Assoc. Prof. Dr. Usa Biggins, from the Faculty of Communication Arts and Innovations, Nida, found that whenever times changed, media’s popularity also changed  - from newspaper to electronic age like film, radio, television and then to internet age, including multimedia. In the present, mass media, especially TV, were highly interested by most researchers because they believed that media really had influence over children. 

Furthermore, according to the study on media exposure of children, youth and family, conducted by the Foundation for Child Development (2003) and a long-term research project of Dr. Chanpen Chuprapawan et al (2003), it said, “In some families, television functions as a surrounding of the house and it becomes a habit to turn it on. Most children watch adult’s programs and they watch almost all day long without parental supervisory. It is believable that mass media, especially TV, have enormous influence over children, youth and family. ”

While “Child Watch Project” which had been studying the media influence among Thai children and found that media and modern technology were the fifth necessity of life, especially mobile phones or computers. From a research in 2009, the percentage of students in upper-secondary and tertiary education who had a personal computer was 44% and mobile phones 82%. They spent their time on media and technology about 6–7 hours per day while other activities like sending SMS and downloading songs, pictures, games and other types of information were increasing. One of the effects of media and technology on children is game addiction that tends to rise continually. The percentage of children who played computer games or online games increased from 20.12% to 26.79% in 2009, 2 hours on average.  This occurrence corresponded with the increase of internet & gaming cafés, from 16,077 in 2007 to 25,398 in 2009.

Source: Isra News + Thai PBS


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