This publication includes a number of practical recommendations intended to make media and journalists more responsive and to encourage debate within media about the portrayal of children and their rights. Media professionals need to play a leading role in this debate or they will find that others grow impatient and seek to control them through regulations. Such regulations will not be effective in protecting children, but they will make it more difficult for good journalists to do their jobs.
Although there are no easy answers to complex issues or to ethical dilemmas, there are standards and benchmarks by which media can judge how they portray children in society. The need for journalistic training in reporting on the rights of children has never been greater, both at the entry point to journalism and in mid-career courses. It contains good practices to inform journalists and programme-makers at all levels with information about the importance of children’s rights and argues for journalists to depict children in a way that maintains their dignity, and avoid exploitation and victimization. by Aidan White – IFJ – January 2002