This Web Page is updated on 2016-08-03 16:42
Introduction

The concept of media education is to get acquainted with the media which has inevitably become part of our daily lives, to analyze and to criticize the messages behind. The essence of media education is not to advocate irrational critics but to build up the ability of appreciation. One has to be an active audience instead of leading by the media culture.

HKCS has considered media education as one of our special task. A project officer is assigned to plan and to organize program activities for primary students who are our target service clientele. Media education starts at young age is most ideal.

Through the bi-monthly publication 'Media Express', our project officer tackles and discusses media phenomena and the hidden message for the sake of stimulating the readers’ thoughts on different media issues.

Publication

Through the bi-monthly publication 'Media Express', our project officer tackles and discusses media phenomena and the hidden message for the sake of stimulating the readers’ thoughts on different media issues.

Talks

As the present media environment is being polluted, emphasis on sensational appeal, twisted moral concepts and all kinds of foul media messages, all these cause malign influence on our younger generation.

Talks are organized periodically for youth guardians (like social workers, teachers and parents) to advocate the need of media education and to equip them to carry out media education in their respective fields.

Talks organized:

  1. How to train up a Media Literate Generation.
  2. The Effect of Absurd Media Content on the Young Generation.
Project Report
Children Media Education in All Directions' Project

To introduce and to advocate the concern of media education to primary students are the objectives of this one-year project (July 2001 – July 2002) funded by the Quality Education fund. It was comprised of two stages:

  1. 'Stand Up Show and Talk Tour' were set up in 35 primary schools introducing the concept of media awareness;
  2. 'Media Education Workshop' conducted in 8 schools (8 sessions each) to provide a chance to learn through experience and through their participation in inter-school drama performances, they learn to share their thoughts regarding the media and its impact on people.
Talk

Stand Up Show is an interesting format that attracts' attentions and therefore their involvements. With the interactive participation technique, students were encouraged to examine the relationship between the media and their everyday life. To end the session in a talk concluding the purposes and the need for media education has proven to be an ideal arrangement. This was well received by both the students and the teachers. (Photo 1 – stand up show, Photo 2 - Talk)

Stand up show

In the 8 sessions of drama workshop, students were provided a chance to learn through production. By getting to know the elements in drama, and joining in discussions and analysis, drama scripts were drawn up in joint effort to express their views on media. This process of learning through experience had indeed deleged into the hearts of the students and did rouse their awareness as shown in the evaluation process.

To share what the students had learned, an inter-school drama performance created for them was put on stage in a public theatre on May 20. Besides the teachers, parents and students of the schools involved, special guests were invited to participate. The Curriculum Development Officer of Curriculum Development Institue, Hong Kong Education Department, Mrs. Yuen Au Sin-yee was invited as guest speaker. Representatives from the Quality Education Fund and our two honourable volunteer consultants, Dr. Alice Lee (Associate Professor, Department of Journalism, Hong Kong Baptist University) and Mr. Jeremy Yung (Executive Producer, RTHK) were also invited to attend. Our guests were amazed at the performance.

guest & speakers drama drama drama

The project was able to reach 14,000 students and 193 teachers and it was positively received. Most of the teachers believe that integrating media education into different subjects is possible and can be worked out. And with regard to the review of the educational policy they agreed that media education is a relevant topic to be adopted in schools.

Survey Report
Survey on Media Message Pattern in HK Children

In an information era, media becomes a part of children's lives. Yet local survey on the pattern of influence from media to our children is scarcely found. Thus, HKCS launched a survey that had received 840 responses from the general public, of which 64 % were female, 36% were male, and 90% were children between primary 4 to primary 6. The results were released in 2002.

One significant finding showed that the decision to choose what to watch and read was actually made by children instead of their parents. Another important fact showed that it was easy for children to gain access to newspapers, magazines or television dramas that were targeted for adults only.

Survey Results

The one to make the choice as to when and what to read or watch among various media products:-

Media Products Children to Decide (%) Parents to Decide (%)
TV Programs 42.5 41.5
Comic Books 62.0 30.0
Books 69.0 19.0
Films 39.7 40.7
Magazines 35.0 49.0

The frequency of media usage and the ratings of favorite categories among children:

TV Viewing
Weekdays  
over 4 hours 16.1%
2 to 4 hours 30.7%
Weekends / Holidays  
1 to 2 hours 36.6%
2 to 4 hours 33.1%
over 4 hours 26.6%
Children's Favorite TV Program Category
Weekdays  
Drama 23.9%
Cartoons 23.8%
Weekends / Holidays  
Game Show 12.5%
Travel Program 11.2%
Computer Usage
Less than 3 times a week 33.6%
3 times or more a week 24.8%
Everyday 15.7%
Over 3 hours per usage 44%
Children's Favorite Computer Activities
Playing games 1
Browsing the Internet 2
Learning 3
Watching VCD 4
Newspaper Reading
Seldom 30%
Often 41%
Columns Preferred
Entertainment 28.8%
Local news 26.9%
Most Read Newspaper
Oriental 36%
Apple Daily 19%
The Sun 14%
Sing Tao 11%
Analysis

There is much freedom given to children in our generation as to what to read or watch. Much of this tendency was due to the so-called "democratic" method in raising our children today. Children are encouraged and allowed to make their own decisions on a number of and perhaps too-many-too-soon issues. Sadly, it is not uncommon to see some parents giving little or no restriction to their children as to gaining access to the unsuitable media and mass media materials; these parents are either oblivious or being ignorance of the appropriate parental guidance given to their children.

Today, even children are drawn to television dramas that often reflect controversial or debatable values and standards. Undoubtedly, from watching such kind of dramas, there will be a certain degree of adverse effect on children while their value system were being developed. If parents were nonchalant in providing guidance to their youngsters, it will surly fall upon the media.

According to the survey, 40% of children do read newspapers. Although their favorite papers are found to be among the best selling newspapers in town; they are considered to be the three most offensive local newspapers (according to a youth survey in 2000). While the local news column was found to be one of their two favorite reading columns, it should be noted that the sensational reporting style as well as the bloody and violent photos commonly presented by those papers would likely impact their readers negatively let alone children. It is therefore, important for both parents and children to gain understanding about the media and its industry. By doing so, the parents will be able to initiate meaningful discussions with their children as to the trust-worthiness of certain media products, and to give proper advices and guidelines to their youngsters.

Action

It is our conclusion that media literacy shall become one of the early childhood education curriculums. It would be best for parents and young children to learn together in family media education. We would also recommend a media literacy movement initiated by the government through setting up a special committee that will help support voluntary organizations to promote media literacy projects and activities. .

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