The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) and Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (FES) in partnership with Bush Radio are hosting the 12th Media Kidocracy Konference (MKK) 2012 attended by 96 young South Africans, between 10 - 14 December 2012 at Nekkies Resort and Conference Center in Worcester in the Western Cape. The MKK is an annual Bush Radio project that targets young people in the country and in the SADC region to engage on various media platform and how to use media as a tool for communications and expression of their views in a democracy. This year's theme "Youth Participation in Democracy" and encourages youth to be active citizens in development of their own countries. The MKK 2012 programme is mainly panel and roundtable discussions on youth related topics, training workshops and production of in cartoons, comics, photography, print, radio, television, graffiti and online media.
The MDDA and its partners have identified a gap in the market and have decided to launch the Media Literacy & Culture of Reading Programme to promote media literacy and encourage children and youth to become active participants in the media. Accordingly, the MDDA is supporting the Media Kidocracy Konference 2012 as part of media training and literacy; a Bush Radio project that shares the same aims and objectives of promoting media literacy. The programme comprises of interactive discussions and media skills training that targets learners as primary beneficiaries and promote media literacy at their level, including print, radio, television, online and social media. As part of its pursuit of the objective, the Agency partnered with the Institute for Advancement in Journalism (IAJ) and commissioned the development of a Toolkit on Media Literacy Project. The Toolkit called "Start You Own School Newspaper" is a result of numerous consultations with key stakeholders and experts in the field of children/youth media, journalism practitioners, educators and the learners themselves.
At the opening ceremony MDDA Chief Executive Officer, Lumko Mtimde said MKK is an important gathering, which coincidentally started on December 10th - the International Human Rights Day. He urged delegates to know their rights and freedoms to express themselves, right to access information, right to communication, etc. that are enshrined in the SA Constitution. Mtimde added that MDDA saw it fit to partner with Bush Radio for MKK2012 in order for the delegates to understand the importance of media so that as young people, as the future, can participate actively in this democracy and in ensuring we have a knowledge and informed society. He also thanked the other partners (like FES, Media 24, etc.) for contributing to this objective. Mtimde notes that the MDDA since it launched in 2009, through its media literacy programme (which target young learners) has supported 40 schools in Eastern Cape, North West, KZN and Free State and provided funding support for school newsletter production and "aftercare" training.
The long-term goal for MDDA and its partners is to see media literacy included in the school curriculum, disadvantaged schools producing their own media products and thereby promoting the culture of reading. The toolkit is envisaged to open opportunities for youth to become media entrepreneurs in the entire value chain of media and contribute to the development and diversity of media. Further, the intention is to assist young people to be more critical producers and consumers of media as well as to create media awareness and stimulate an interest in media as a field of study.
"The Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA) is a development agency for promoting media development and diversity, a partnership between the South African Government and major print and broadcasting media companies to assist in (amongst others) developing community and small commercial media, in terms of the MDDA Act No 14 of 2002.
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