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Apr 30, 2019

UNICEF Trains the Media on Children’s Rights

Media houses were treated over the weekend to a workshop on best practices to report on children’s right which includes their rights to privacy, education, and healthcare. Getting their stories out is important but keeping confidentially is critical. News Five’s Duane Moody reports.

 

Duane Moody, Reporting

Members of various media houses in Belize participated in a training organized by UNICEF to address the reporting of children’s issues. The one-day workshop looked at children’s rights and the media and focused on best practices to protect the rights of children while sharing pertinent information about the many issues—good and bad—surrounding this vulnerable population.

 

Marisol Quintero

Marisol Quintero, Regional Communication Specialist, UNICEF

“Media is very important for UNICEF and for the organizations that work for children’s rights. We think we have to work together to identify those gaps that exists in the work that you do and the work that we do also because we learn from you. We learn from the journalists as well. So what we want here is to give you some tools, some ideas, some examples of what you have to do and don’t have to do when you talk about children. How do you portray children; if you are allowed or not to show photograph or to talk about children in certain ways or how do you refer to news when children are victims or when small children if he has or not permission from parents. So we want you to learn those kinds of things because journalists are the face of society.”

 

The workshop served as a refresher for those in attendance and featured representatives from the government as well as other advocacy agencies such as the national Committee for Families and Children, Informed Teen Reporters and the Children Advisory Board. CAB supports young people across the country and tries to educate them on their rights. Former Vice President of the San Ignacio/Santa Elena chapter of CAB, Adriana Medina gave her perception of the media when it comes to addressing issues surrounding children.

 

Adrianna Medina

Adrianna Medina, Former VP, Children Advisory Board

“To me it’s a behavioural influencer, an educator and an entertainer. The media can be really positive and getting the message out there so that people can know what happening and it can also be negative as well with the crime rate we have. Yes it is the reality, people need to know these things, but as a child and seeing those things, I feel a little depressed and a little worried.  People might have the wrong perception of our new generation so I just want to get that message across that we as children, we try our best to help and get those children’s voices out there to the media, communication.”

 

Generally, the workshop looked at the Convention on the Rights of a Child and the media as defenders of the CRC and children advocates. Presentations were also made on guidelines for developing a code of conduct for reporting on sensitive cases involving children.

 

Abbie Godoy Guillen

Abbie Godoy Guillen, Informed Teen Reporter

“My presentation today was about the portrayal of children in traditional media, which includes broadcast, print and radio. But what we are trying to do is bridge this gray scale area where the media can understand what we mean by the responsible coverage of children and respecting their rights. And what we as the children, we as the society, can do to bridge that gap with them.  We want to put good things out there because we want to show what our children are doing, what we are achieving, but we also find it very important to attack social issues. So we’ve done stories on crime and violence and bullying and those are very important issues. And sometimes we have to be careful in the way we present them and that’s just as with the larger media where they need to be very conscientious of how they are presenting, which is a part of my presentation on how we present children.  So I think it is a very tricky area because you need to be as real as possible and present it as best you can but also you need to be able to have respect for these people that you are talking about.”

 

Duane Moody for News Five.


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