First Euralva’s Conference

The I international Forum of Consumers of Audiovisual Media Associations has been inaugurated today Thursday, October 9 at the Mobile World Centre in Barcelona.

Link to the presentations and speechs by the Speakers/Experts.

Thursday 9

In the opening session, Josep María Guerra, President of Euralva and the Association of consumers of audiovisual of Catalonia (TAC); María Fernández, Vice President of the CNMC and Vincent Porter have denounced the lack of consensus when it comes to unify the qualification criteria of audiovisual content.

In the first round table, its been about the challenge of protecting the minor in the convergence of media. All speakers have agreed in a reality: technology goes faster than the administrative regulations, the laws, to which parents and educators know and, even faster than the same technology to protect the minor from the risks occurring in the convergence of media.

Julia López de Sá, the CNMC audiovisual Assistant Director, has insisted on the need to unify the criteria of qualification by age among operators and to extend them to private operators. In addition, she stressed that the National Commission of Markets and Competition will continue to apply the sanctions necessary to protect the child.

Carles Llorens, Vice-Dean of Communication at the Autonomous University of Barcelona, has pointed out the importance of studying the benefits and the risks within the convergence of media and, thereby, reach a social consensus on what is what wanted to be blocked to protect the minor. To this end, he proposes to answer three questions: how children and adolescents access and use screens; to what extent these technologies enable them to have more information, more education and more participation; and also to what extent they make them more vulnerable and introduce risks to their well-being.

Martin Huigsloot, responsible for the Dutch pioneer classification system NICAM and PEGI, explained the project “You rate it” innovative content labelling. Huigsloot, moreover, points out the importance of users to participate and being involved in the classification of the contents and, therefore, NICAM hopes to count on the support of Youtube soon.

Xavier Puigdollers, Professor of civil law at the Abad Oliba University, says that, legally, any activity that takes place both in the public and private must take into account the so-called best interests: that of the minor. For this reason and due to the current situation of effective vulnerability of children, encourages prosecutors to apply regulations in favor of the weakest.

Eduardo Cruz, CEO of Qustodio, after alerting the increase of divices in each household and the tendency to isolation among family members, has highlighted the role of parents when it comes to putting limits and rules of use.

The second round table dealt with the role of public television in the digital age. Makers of digital content for children and youth in Televisió de Catalunya and RTE Radio Telefís Éireann (Radio Television Ireland) have confirmed the need to reach their audience through new channels and platforms, such as the online or the Apps.

Ferran Clavell, head of Future Innovation in TVC, has stressed that signaling by ages of its chain goes further and more concrete than what the legislation requires. On its website, the age for which each series is appropriate is indicated, also those that can be seen from the same online portal.

Aoife O’Reill, Multimedia Editor for children and youth in Irish public television, has highlighted the line adopted by his radio station, that emphasizes the role of the child and their protection, through conventional programs, content online and standalone applications. On all these platforms, children and adolescents are the ones who have or are actively involved in the conduction of the contents.

Ian Morrison, Director of the Canadian Association for adult education (CAAE), highlighted both the advertising and research carried out by his association to protect the independence of public television from the political power. At the same time, CAAE promotes that children are not mere consumers but active participants in the media through their training in this field.

Friday 10

The first round table of the day focused on the media literacy: the key to ensuring a good use of the media. It has had a large group of international experts from the world of research in communication and education.

María Teresa Quiroz, Director of the Institute for scientific research at the Universidad de Lima, argues that, in the field of education, it’s difficult to understand that to read and write in different supports, the learning processes become more complex.

As a starting point for a proper media literacy, Quiroz talks about the need to abandon the exclusively technical look, since the problems of the Education Fund are not only resolved with technology. The really important thing, according to this expert and world leader in media literacy, is to teach to learn the reason and emotion.

Finally, she presented the conclusions of an experiment performed at the University of Lima: 80 computers were distributed to children in rural areas to take them home. After three years, changes have not occurred in educational performance in literacy and math. However, an interest in students by doing other things on those machines: talk amongst them, search information, etc.

José Ignacio Aguaded, Professor of the University of Huelva and President of the Grupo Comunica, has emphasized the starting point: we live in a society with more and more screens and our iconic and vicarious experience is greater, therefore, must learn to live together.

Aguaded has proposed two lines of work: greater coordination between agents (University, users and associations, etc.) to provide lights in this audiovisual maze, and training in ethics, education and role of users by professionals of the communication at the faculty.

Mª Esther of the Moral, Professor EU of education’s applied ITs to the faculty of Education – University of Oviedo, considers is a priority to make children competent users in technology.

She distinguishes between boldness and fearlessness of the children to interact with devices and their awareness of the strategies employed by businesses to capture their attention. To carry out this training, she says that three elements are accurate: activate their critical conscience, be responsible and committed with what reaches them, as well as creative. This requires a more direct intervention of parents in this field of the education of their children.

Enric Vidal, Dean of the Faculty of Education of the University International Catalonia (UIC), said that media literacy should not only consist in protecting the minor, but accompany him, while society and educational agents act as co-drivers.

Vidal has talk about two educational challenges: first, face the fast-paced society and teach people to think in a calm manner, because access to information does not imply that it has been digested. The second challenge is to teach to correctly discern the borders between public and private. Know who we are, what you want to communicate and to whom.

The second part of the Conference addressed specific models of media literacy. The Coordinator of Audio-visual Education, Aprender a Mirar , TAC, Josep Alegret, highlighted the three pillars of the project:

-Information: submit what’s in the media – cinema, television, internet, video games-through the web, magazine and the application contrast.

-Training: audits for the educators (parents, teachers…) to adquire actual knowledge of the students consumption habits. Lectures to parents; specific training for teachers; dynamic sessions for students.

-Specialization. This is a novelty in the Program. It seeks to form teachers, in an specialized way, in digital practices, trying to reach in this area the same that the schools have incorporated other experts such as psychologists and psychologists

Josep Adolf Estrader, of the Maison de la Radio et Télévision of Bordeaux and President of the Association of Consumers of Audiovisual Media of France, has presented their initiative already underway since 2009: The House of the Radio and Television. Its aim is to bring media closer to those who want to know the ins and outs of small screen. Estrader claims that the initial desire was to show how television is indoors, but now has become also a pedagogical method to reinforce the learning of school subjects.

At the close of the Conference, Josep Maria Guerra, President of TAC and EURALVA, has stated that “it is necessary and urgent that all private and public agencies, enterprises and school, adopt effective and efficient measures to protect the child and, above all, that we promote their education in freedom and creativity against all these devices that surround their lives”.

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