Assessment of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation's (ZNBC) provision of space for children's participation in National Issues

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Mwale, Lazarous
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The University of Zambia
The purpose of this study was to make an assessment of the Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation‘s (ZNBC) provision of space for children‘s participation in national issues. The study used both qualitative and quantitative methods of data collection by conducting a content analysis of ZNBC TV 1 19:00 hour main news bulletins, National Watch discussion programme, and through in-depth interviews with ZNBC TV 1 news reporters and programme producers as well as focus group discussion with children. Data was analysed using SPSS and thematically. This was to assess; the extent to which ZNBC TV 1 news and discussion programmes contain views from children regarding their participation in national issues; the attitudes and knowledge of children‘s rights to participation among the news reporters and programme producers of ZNBC TV 1; and to assess the levels of awareness among children on their right to use ZNBC as a channel to air their views. The findings of the study revealed that ZNBC provides little space for children to participate in national issues. Content analysis of news bulletins clearly shows that the inclusion of children in the news is low at 38.7 percent. However, this percentage in coverage of children in the news does not exclusively relate to participation of children in national issues as most of the bulletins with stories on children are on abuse such as sexual defilement. Only 11 percent of news bulletins sampled contained at least a story on children expressing their opinions. The scenario is even worse with TV discussion programmes such as ‗National Watch‘ as none of the programmes analysed featured or contained views from children. The research has also shown that TV programme producers and news reporters have knowledge of children‘s rights to participation but their attitude towards participation of children in the media is somewhat negative. This has led to low inclusion of children‘s views on issues of national importance. The study has also disclosed that ZNBC TV 1 reporters and news producers have challenges in gathering information from children apparently because ‗children cannot express themselves‘.
Zambia National Broadcasting Corporation , Children Television Programs-Zambia , Television and Children-Zambia , Public Television-Zambia