Bauchi Field Office of the United Nations Fund, UNICEF, has enhanced the skills and capacities of 28 journalists on ethical reporting of issues concerning children.
The two-day training which drew participants from Adamawa, Bauchi, Gombe, Jigawa, Plateau and Taraba states, held in Gombe.
The Communication Officer of the Office and a facilitator during the training, Mr. Samuel Kaalu appreciated the media, both conventional and online for their efforts in advancing the course of children but advocated more access to children on the various media platforms.
”When we talk about access to the media, we are looking at children for example having the opportunities of hearing on media platforms by featuring those things they need to know or need to be done to grow up to be responsible members of the society.
“They need to go to school, the need to ensure they get immunisation, need to ensure they obey their parents and the need to respect the cultural values of the society among others.
“So given the fact that the media is an embodiment of all the societal values, it is important that our children are not kept away from the media” he stated.
Kaalu nevertheless underscored the need to strike a balance in doing reports on children in that, “While trying to bring the issue of children to the attention of policy makers, decision maker and those
who are in position to allocate resources, we also have to ensure thatchildren are not exposed to danger, harm or stigma.
“So if for example we want to do a television story about a child that was raped, we don’t need to give the full view of the child; it should be done in a way that the child’s identity is obscured.
“Also, we don’t need to give the child’s real name is we must use one or give a description (like complete address, parent(s’) identity, etc) that could expose the child’s identity.”
He said the media occupied a very important position in the society, and considering its role, training journalists to have enhanced skills in ethical reporting of issues concerning children would help a great
deal in protecting the child while fighting their course.
Umar Bashir Fuggo of Globe FM, Bauchi, described the training as timely and important, given the issue of insecurity and its attendant impacts on the child, malnutrition, the IDPs’ children and some of the
reportage had been biased against children due to lack of expertise.