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IRIS 2016-10:1/15

Croatia

Recommendations for the protection of children and the safe use of electronic media

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Nives Zvonarić

Agency for Electronic Media (AEM), Zagreb

After concluding consultations with stakeholders and the interested public, the Council for Electronic Media on 8 September 2016 adopted Recommendations for the protection of children and the safe use of electronic media.

The document stems from the obligation of developed societies to provide children and adolescents with conditions that enable them to achieve their full potential. The role of institutions is to help systematically parents and others who take care of children in their daily efforts to provide a secure, supportive and healthy environment for the development of children and young people. Bearing in mind that today this developmental environment is to a large extent shaped by electronic media, the appropriateness of media contents to which children are exposed should be continuously monitored and analysed. The fundamental objective of this document is to provide recommendations for the devising, categorisation, and use of media contents in order to provide a better environment for the development of children and adolescents growing up in Croatia.

Children and young people are neither mere consumers of media messages, nor passive recipients of formative influences, but instead subjects who actively choose media contents and, in transmitting and interpreting them, also create new messages. Therefore, encouraging critical thinking in children and adolescents towards media images of life and the world is just as important as the endeavour to minimise and eliminate inappropriate media contents. The essential prerequisite for creating an autonomous and individual critical attitude in children and adolescents is specifically the development of media literacy, as a set of skills and tools that enable an understanding and analysis of media messages, thus reducing the risk of accepting contents of socially questionable value in an uncritical manner.

The art of critically reading and interpreting media messages is essential primarily for parents and educators, who can then help children and young people develop an open, active, and critical attitude towards media and media contents. The development of media literacy is also necessary for media professionals, editors, and journalists, to strengthen their own professional position. This is especially important in terms of the fierce market competition to which media are exposed today and for the purpose of facilitating recognition of their social importance and responsibility, and thereby the huge impact that media products have on children and young people, as well as on society as a whole.

References
Vijeće za elektroničke medije usvojilo Preporuke za zaštitu djece i sigurno korištenje elektroničkih medija HR
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18230
 
  Recommendations for the Protection of Children and the Safe Use of Electronic Media EN
 http://merlin.obs.coe.int/redirect.php?id=18253