MISA Lesotho launches guidelines on Child Reporting
On Friday, July 3, 2015, MISA Lesotho launched Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children at the Lehakoe Recreational Center in Maseru. The guidelines are designed to improve the media’s reporting of children and their issues and ensure that they do not affect their wellbeing and expose them to further harm.,
The objective of the guidelines is to empower children to participate meaningfully in the decisions affecting them in the media, and guiding adults on ethical ways to allow for children participants in the media.
The guidelines were launched by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Honorable Khotso Letsatsi at the occasion attended by editors and journalist from both print and electronic media, civil society that focus of children’s welfare; United Nation International Children Fund (UNICEF), Lesotho Counsel of Non-Government Organisation (LCN), Lesotho Save The Children (LCS).
The Editorial Guideline and Principles for Reporting on Children were developed with the input of children and media professionals to assist journalists and media practitioners to produce better quality reports on children, with greater understanding and whilst respecting children’s rights.
The guidelines were developed in line with Lesotho’s Child Protection and Welfare Act of 2011, the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child and the Lesotho Constitution.
The guidelines clearly stipulates how journalists should report on the children in the media. They include an ethical roadmap to assist journalists in the case of an ethical dilemma when reporting on children. They also guide media professionals on how to produce and present images on children. Of great importance is the emphasis placed on ensuring children’s voices and children’s participation in news production through informed consent.
The Editorial Guidelines form part of a project funded by Save The Children International (SCI) and the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency, who enabled the partnership between Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) and MISA Lesotho.
The Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) was founded in 1996. Its work focuses on promoting, and advocating for, the unhindered enjoyment of freedom of expression, access to information and a free, independent, diverse and pluralistic media.