Journalists have been cautioned against reporting news that will bring stigmatisation on children, as such may permanently ruin their lives and career.
The Head of Country Office of Terre des Hommes, an International Non-Governmental Organisation,MsPeju Osoba, said this in Abeokuta on Wednesday while delivering a lecture at a workshop for journalists, organised by the Penpushing Media in conjunction with the organisation and Child Protection Network.
The workshop covered topics such as 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 the need to protect the dignity and identity of children when reporting cases relating to them.
She noted that a sentence in a report from the media could determine the future of those children and by extension a country.
She said, “Journalists should avoid sensational report on child cases, avoid story that will bring stigmatisation on the child.
“As journalists, you should protect dignity, identity of children. Your duty is not to sensationalised a child story, but protect the child. We must serve in the interest of the child.
“Such news item may be at the expense of the child. A sentence in your report can determine the future of a child.”
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, adding that the workshop would at the end of the session raise network of journalists to work with.
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 did not give enough attention to reporting and how best to report child protection issues but focusing more on politics and other sectors, neglecting the importance of the child.
The Chairman of Child Protection Network, Kunle Sanni, in his brief remark said the workshop was long overdue, expressing gladness that the workshop eventually came to pass. He added that, with the pool of journalists now involved in child protection, the menace would be effectively addressed.