Journalists Cautioned On Child Reporting

By Ireen Kayira

Salima, October 28, Mana: Journalists in the country have been cautioned on how to report on issues that are related to children.

This was said in Salima during a two day Media training that was organised by Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation through the 18+ Media Project on Ending Child Marriages from October 27 to 28, 2020.

Media Institute for Southern Africa (MISA) Chairperson, Tereza Ndanga said there has been a good progress that journalists have made in terms of highlighting issues to do with child rights and there have been some good impact on the stories that journalists write.

She said there was still need to work on a few gaps that have been noticed and these are mostly to do with how to be sensitive with the interest of children.

“We will be highlighting their challenges and having appositive impact but at the same time there could be some long term effects that we may have from those stories.

“When they grow up would they be happy looking at themselves in the state that we had aired their pictures or we have printed their pictures,” Ndanga said.

She added that these are the things that journalists need to get familiar with and be sensitive about at the same time making sure that the interest of the child and the protection of the child is coming paramount on the stories published.

The Chairperson said for journalists to achieve this there was need for more trainings from experts of different organisations that deal with child related issue.

Timveni Child and Youth Media Organisation Executive Director, Herbert Chidaya said it was important to have media work alongside programmes that are aimed at ending child marriages and other child related issues because of the role it plays.

“We want to engage journalists in the project 18 + Media project on ending child marriages at the same time, we want them to be aware on how best they can report on child related issues,” he said.

“We knew that if we bring in the advocacy and awareness on how to report on these issues, it will have a great impact particularly in the areas where the project is being implemented,” Chidaya added.

He said journalists help to escalate issues of policy around child marriages that are there to the communities as well as making sure that people are aware of the laws.