By Becky John
Mr Geoffrey Njoku, a Communication Specialist with UNICEF, on Friday advised journalists to ensure that press reports on children should protect their interests. Njoku gave the advice at the media dialogue for journalists in Kano. He said reporting children in emergencies or crisis areas required that their rights should be protected to ensure that their images were not portrayed negatively.
“In interviewing and reporting on children, we need to consider the confidentiality, ensure their participation in decisions that affects them and protect them from harm.
“Do not publish a story or an image which may put a child, siblings or peers at risk even when identities are changed, obscured or not used.
“We need to seek the consent of the guardian of a child before reporting about any child.
“Do not harm any child, avoid questions, attitudes or comments that are judgmental,” Njoku advised. He said that changing the name and obscuring the visual identity of any child was necessary when it involved a victim of sexual abuse or a HIV positive person.