November 23, 2003
In an ever more complicated world how does one identify with what is 'best' in the media? This timely and important challenge was taken on in Mexico City this past October in what proved to be a truly outstanding international conference. A FAVOR DE LO MEJOR involved participants from every corner of the country and literally all sectors of Mexican society. President Vincente Fox was there along with television industry executives, leading academics, researchers, philosophers, medical experts, media literacy educators, high school teachers, parents, over 12,000 university and high school students and some of the most popular and well loved local television personalities and comedians.
Fellow C-CAVE member, Sylvia Cauley, and I were honoured to be invited. Ron Cohen, chairman of the Canadian Broadcast Standards Council in Ottawa, was the only other Canadian who participated. We were among, approximately, 20 delegates from foreign countries which included the United States, Spain, Chile, Ecuador, Argentina and Columbia. Together we filled the National Auditorium on October 6 & 7th and shared perspectives on the 'best' in media. An overriding theme involved the harmful effects of media violence and how to address this growing problem through education, advocacy and corporate self-regulation. It was integrated into some exceptionally creative and often amusing performances from actors who weighed in with their own views on the best in media and why violence does not come under this umbrella.
On behalf of C-CAVE, Sylvia and I were given an opportunity to talk about our experience in Canada as an education and advocacy organization, committed to raising public awareness on what the research findings show on media violence. It was a much appreciated opportunity to share conclusions from studies we and others have done over the years and exchange ideas for on-going collaboration. Our remarks overlapped with those of Ron Cohen who described how the CBSC handles complaints about television programming on behalf of the Canadian Association of Broadcasters. We are one of the few countries in the world who have a broadcast standards council and the Mexicans are clearly looking to us for ideas on how to set one up themselves. For more details on the Conference in Mexico, new links developed by C-CAVE and the Council itself, check out our gallery and the section on links.Rose Anne Dyson, Ed.D.
Author of MIND ABUSE Media Violence In An Information Age and co-author of MEDIA, SEX, VIOLENCE and DRUGS in the GLOBAL VILLAGE