On March 29, 2021, the project “bYou – Study of the experiences and expressions of children and young people about the media” started, financed by FCT (PTDC/COM-OUT/3004/2020).
Over the next three years, until the end of March 2024, the project team, led by Sara Pereira, will give a voice (and listen carefully) to almost 1400 children and young people aged between 11 and 18 years old, from north to south of mainland Portugal.
The objective is to know and problematize the experiences of this population with the media. In view of their practices and perceptions, it is intended to understand the role (roles) that the media play in their daily lives and to give them the opportunity to express themselves, in different ways and by various means, about these experiences. The school media will also be the object of study and intervention, seeking to space par excellence for the expression of participation.
There are several questions that are on the table: in your relationship with the media, what gives children and young people satisfaction and enjoyment? But, also, what bothers and worries them? What themes most lead you to speak up? And what formats most captivate you when it comes to producing? Here are some of the starting questions.
The research design – which combines quantitative and qualitative, traditional and participatory methodologies – recognizes children and young people as a place of social actors and agents of change.
Exploring the expressive and creative streak of the participants will also be part of the project, which will meet your target audience in formal and informal learning contexts. Another vector of bYou is related to the encouragement of reflective and critical media practices, in a perspective of Literacy for the Media.
It is recalled that bYou was one of the 4 winning projects, in the field of Media and Communication, of the Competition promoted, in 2020, by the Foundation for Science and Technology for the Financing of Scientific Research and Technological Development Projects.
The team consists of eight members. In addition to Sara Pereira, responsible researcher, and Daniel Brandão, co-responsible researcher, there are Manuel Pinto, Clarisse Pessôa, Conceição Costa (Universidade Lusófona), Diana Pinto, Margarida Toscano (School Library Network) and Pedro Portela.
Among the project’s consultants are prominent names in the field of international youth and media research, such as Henry Jenkins (Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism, University of Southern California, USA) or Carlos Scolari (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona).
In addition to these two researchers, there are also representatives of important structures, projects and media dedicated to childhood and youth. Namely: Teresa Calçada (Commissioner of the National Reading Plan), Manuela Silva (Coordinator of the School Library Network), Cláudia Lobo (Director of Visão Magazine), Iolanda Ferreira, (Coordinator of Rádio ZiGZag, RTP), Luísa Gonçalves (Coordinator of the Public at School Project) and João Marecos (Leader of the 100 Oportunidades Project, a project founded by the Global Shapers Lisbon Hub).
Like the media themselves, the name of the project also has several readings. bYou for “be you”, but also for you, for “for you”.