A study by UNICEF has shown that Moroccan media plays very little educational role for children in the country.
Rabat – During a press conference in Casablanca on Thursday, the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) presented a new study indicating the weak role of Moroccan media in educating children.
The study, which consisted of an opinion poll answered by 600 people aged 15 to 34, found that audiovisual media in Morocco dedicates as few as two hours a day to children’s programs and even less to documentaries and educational or cultural shows for children.
Moroccan audiovisual channels dedicate approximately 31 percent of their daily content to children, and the content is often programs like cartoons.
UNICEF also noted the absence of child-friendly journalism programs to give young people a voice and put them at the center of content that the Moroccan media publishes, be it cultural, psychological, or educational.
As for Moroccan written media, UNICEF emphasized that it unfortunately does not educate new generations or help them develop independent thinking, which is reflected in the lack of articles reserved for children.
Based on the information, the survey concluded that Moroccan media “partially fulfills the needs of children and young people in terms of learning.”
Moroccan Arabic-speaking newspapers provide more content for children than their French-speaking peers, said UNICEF.
Ironically, journalists who write content about children “do not have enough knowledge about children’s rights,” especially not about children with special needs.
Educational programs about children with special needs are also very few.
Fewer than 50 percent of Moroccan journalists ask parents for permission before talking to or taking pictures of children, despite the fact that the same journalists agree that children’s rights must be respected.
UNICEF pointed out that the current journalism programs in Morocco do not provide professional training about children’s rights.
Still, the study found that there is a growing awareness among Moroccan journalists about the need to respect children’s rights, as some Moroccan media tend to cover or blur children’s faces when reporting about incidents they are featured in.
Some journalists also request permission from the children’s parents before broadcasting photos or videos of them.