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• Colombia

Código de acceso, young people and information
International interest

Access Code gives participants an experience of life, but it is also a learning experience for the El Tiempo newspaper. The training that the youngsters receive is of great value, but it is perhaps equally important that a major communication organ such as El Tiempo takes into account a teenage perspective of things. The challenge of opening the doors of its editorial offices to a number of teenagers that work side by side with journalists, discussing things with them and offering their contributions has brought about fundamental changes to the very conception of the newspaper. It has led the newspaper to see society in a different light, from the point of view of youngsters that have things to say about this society, of which they are an integral part.

This initiative creates opportunities for enriching public opinion by offering contrasting views of reality. In this process, the youngsters consolidate their critical capacity towards the information produced by the newspaper and, at the same time, play a fundamental part in the process of generating public opinion by taking part in the activities conducted by the newspaper. This means that their views permeate the information system and the media as a whole, so that things may be seen from a different perspective. Even when Access Code articles and reports are identified in the newspaper by a logo, the journalistic results of the programme are not necessarily visible to public opinion. The way social diversity is perceived generates structural changes in the newspaper.

Access Code is of great importance socially and in the communications field, in a world where information and news tends to be seen from the perspective of certain groups, excluding large sectors of the population that remain silent before the events that affect them. This silence does not mean that these groups do not have an opinion about the events that happen, but that there is no vehicle for them to express their feelings.

It is particularly important for the young generation to play a role in shaping the news, because it gets them involved in the social, political and economic issues that affect all the community and not only a particular age group. Newspapers, more than the radio and television, still have a predominant role in shaping public opinion, and for this reason it is vital that they include different views of reality.