Journalists have been cautioned against reporting news that will bring stigmatization to children, as such may permanently ruin the lives and careers of such child.
The Head of Country Office of Terre des hommes, (Tdh) an International Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO), Peju Osoba stated this while delivering a lecture at a workshop training for journalists, organized by the Penpushing Media in conjunction with the organization and Child Protection(CPN), held in Abeokuta.
The agenda is Workshop for Journalists on Child Mobility, Child Protection, Protective Accompaniment of Children and the Roles of Journalists in the Protection of Migrant Children.
Osoba said journalists should consider the importance and need to protect dignity and identity of child when reporting cases relating to them, stressing that, a sentence in a report from the media can determine future of the child and by extension a country.
‘Journalists should avoid sensational report on child cases, avoid story that will bring stigmatization on the child. As journalist, you should protect dignity, identity of child. Your duty is not to sensationalized a child story, but protect the child. We must serve in the interest of the child. Your news making may be at the expense of the child. A sentence in your report can determine future of a child’, Osoba said
She said Terre Des Hommes was readily available to join forces with the media in fighting child abuses and other vices militating against the child, stressing that the workshop will at the end of the session raise network of journalist to work with.
In his welcome speech, the founder of Penpushing who initiated the workshop, Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji said the training was coming at the appropriate time in view of the worrisome development on child migration within and outside the country.
He said it has been observed that, journalists do not give enough attention to reporting and how best to report child protection issues , rather focus more on politics and other sectors, neglecting the importance of the children who if better treated and guided are the future leaders to turn around not just the country but the world.
‘In view of the above, Penpushing approached the well-known International Non-Government Organisation, Terre des hommes as well as Child Protection Network on how best to upgrade our knowledge as journalists to pave way for our positive contributions in addressing the menace of child protection generally and particularly migration and trafficking among other vices surrounding the development of the child’, he stated.
He added further that, the training workshop goes beyond classroom, explaining that it is also aimed to create network of media practitioners for child protection, and media organisations to give more attention to topics covering the protection of migrant children, child mobility and child rights.
‘I want to encourage my colleagues as well as myself, as practicing journalist to let us make use of the opportunity and also show dedication and commitment on the workshop, so that the planned Network of Journalists for Child Protection can be official and functional’.
Let us positively use our pen to protect children because the reality is that these children are vulnerable to abuse, exploitation, coercion, trafficking, violence, delinquency, and also exposed to hard labour, deprivation, segregation and lack of access to basic social services, which include education in their host environments’,Kayode-Adedeji said.
The Chairman of Child Protection Network ((CPN), Kunle Sanni in his brief remark said the workshop was long overdue, expressing gladness that the training workshop eventually come to pass. He added that, with the pool of journalists now involved in child protection, the menace will be effectively addressed.
‘This workshop training is long overdue. We are glad that the training has come, and we want to appreciate Penpushing for this initiative. We are getting there gradually, and we a going to use media to achieve a lot’, he said