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Increased International Interest in the Junior Eurovision Song Contest

News is coming in that French Eurovision fans are hosting a live screening of JESC on a big screen in Paris; English film makers are observing the event with the idea of creating new ways of re-introducing JESC to British television audiences; SBS Australia will screen the television show merely hours after it has aired in Europe; and radio stations in the United Kingdom, USA, Argentina, Costa Rica and New Zealand are planning to broadcast the show live.

Is this "the Malta effect"?

With the host being a famously beautiful Mediterranean country filled with warm sunshine and warm people and PBS Malta’s incredible preparations for the event,  is this the year that puts ‘big’ Eurovision’s little sibling into the spotlight?  It certainly helps.

Irish interest

Garrett Mulhall, who runs the popular and prolific Eurovision Ireland, is travelling to Malta for his first Junior Eurovision Song Contest. “My nieces Emma and Amalia love the clips of Alexander Rybak, Lena and Conchita on the Eurovision stage. However, even that was trumped when I told my 'Dynamic Duo' that there was the Junior Eurovision Song Contest for people - yes people - like them. 

Garrett Mulhall with Jedward

“All I can say is thank you and YouTube as we have parties looking at reruns of the contest. Emma and Amalia have taken up singing, hip-hop dancing, ballet, belly-dancing and writing their own songs which they perform - all because they have seen people their own age taking to the stage and living their dreams. Before anyone says that Junior Eurovision is just 'Big Brother's Little Brother' think twice as I know some children – and many adults - who will challenge you on that and they will win. We were all young once but the smartest of us still are young at heart.  Don't miss out!”

Taking their 'voix' to Malta

Rapidly-growing English Eurovision site Eurovoix, has seen a huge increase in readership figures this year.  Editor-in-Chief Anthony Granger tells us that, “Junior Eurovision has inspired me since I first saw it in 2009 and 2014 is really set to be something amazing.  We've seen interest in the contest go up 584% compared to 2013. It will be a pleasure for our team to go out to Malta and see everything that the sixteen participants can achieve.”

201st time's a charm!

With an impressive four million YouTube views of their Eurovision clips from Copenhagen earlier this year, ESCKAZ is looking to repeat the success of their video production team at Junior Eurovision in Malta.

ESCKAZ Chief-editor Andy Mikheev explains why he is coming to Malta for this year’s Junior Eurovision Song Contest. "For us at this will be the 8th JESC we have attended. We couldn't resist the dozens of messages encouraging us to continue our work, which would include not only Euroweek reporting, but coverage throughout the months leading up to the JESC final. We initially said 'no' for the first 200 times, but after 201st message we finally gave up on our planned trip to Kyrgyzstan and decided to opt for Malta instead.

“Now we, like everyone else, hope to enjoy the spectacular show in Malta and are looking forward to meeting young talents from all over the Europe. As usual, JESC fans will be able to count on ESCKAZ ‘delivering Eurovision news first’ throughout the Euroweek." 

ESCKAZ' Mikhail Kesarev, Andy Mikheev and Samira Alihuseynova with colleagues from Ukraine and Georgia at the official hotel of Junior Eurovision 2013

Junior Eurovision generates discussion

Hosting over four and a half million visitors to their site in the past year and with a diverse team that includes over forty people from Croatia, Hungary and Romania to Australia, Hong Kong and the United States, Eurovision site Wiwibloggs are also heading to Malta to cover JESC.  WiwibloggsFounder and editor-in-chief, William Lee Adams, is an American journalist now based in London. 

“Our content reflects our readers' interests—the more they click and comment on certain articles, the more we cover those topics. We've noticed that Junior Eurovision content always generates a lot of discussion. There seems to be a real hunger to talk about the songs and the acts with other fans, which is great. The songs are getting better every year, the Junior Eurovision organisation is doing a better job promoting the show, and state broadcasters want to keep the Eurovision enthusiasm going in a new generation of viewers.  It's obviously a competition, but it doesn't have a competitive vibe. You get the sense that the kids are excited to put on a good show and they're just so supportive of each other. It defies all the stereotypes. Not to sound too gooey and over-the-top, but I always leave feeling better about the world.  

“And naturally we couldn't miss out on the chance to go to the sunny island of Malta. All Eurofans know that it’s home to some of the continent's most enthusiastic Eurovision and Junior Eurovision fans - and we're looking forward to seeing that up close,” he says.

Spain hasn't forgotten!

Spain may not have participated in recent years, but passionate Spanish Junior Eurovision writer and fan Belén Garcia is attending her first live JESC event this year. “I've been following JESC since the beginning and I am looking forward to being there.  The JESC team has made a big effort to keep this contest alive and it's going to be a great edition.”

About her website, ESC+plus, she says that “the Junior Eurovision Song Contest generates more visits than the ESC-related articles because we know what fans need to enjoy the contest every day until the show.  We can’t wait to share our videos, interviews and high quality photos of the upcoming edition in Malta which will be the first time for our site.”

Last year, the 2013 edition of JESC was hosted by NTU in Kyiv, Ukraine.  The hashtags #JESC and #JESC2013 trended on Twitter in two non-participating countries: Spain and the United Kingdom.  Signs are looking good for the return – and debut – of more countries next year onwards.