Media monitoring project launched to ensure more responsible coverage of children’s issues in Georgia
TBILISI, Georgia, 30 March 2011 - An unprecedented initiative to monitor Georgian media on how it reports on children is being launched to ensure children’s issues are covered in a more responsible and ethical way. The media monitoring will be undertaken by the Georgian media and advocacy organization the Civic Development Institute with the support of UNICEF.
“Reporting on children’s issues requires a specific knowledge and understanding of international standards”, says Roeland Monasch, UNICEF Representative in Georgia. “We have to carefully analyze each word or phrase as they may affect the whole life of a child and everything we say about children should go through additional scrutiny and consideration. I have to note that the reporting on children in Georgian media has definitely improved but still there is more work to do.”
The media monitoring is only a part of the partnership project implemented by the Civic Development Institute with the support of UNICEF and it embraces three major components: development of the publication - ‘Standards for Journalists on Reporting of Children’; round-table meetings with the representatives of the regional media to discuss ethical reporting on children and media monitoring.
‘Standards for Journalists on Reporting of Children’ has already been produced and disseminated. The publication compiles all the existing ethical and legislative norms, international and national, on reporting of children.
“We start media monitoring on children considering the existing norms and standards”, says Ia Antadze, Head of the Civic Development Institute. “Our goal is to check how we, journalists, protect child rights. It is important that we ourselves try to strengthen media self-regulation mechanisms to achieve ethical reporting. We will do our best to ensure that media in Georgia protects children and their best interests”.
Trained experts and lawyers will monitor Georgian media covering children’s issues and in case of violation of national as well as international standards, a special appeal will be sent to the existing media self-regulatory bodies like Charter of Ethical Journalists, National Communication Council, particular media outlets or their self-regulation councils. In total, 79 Media outlets (65 National and 14 Regional) will be monitored on a regular basis throughout the year.
“We realize that very often we do not know the standards and norms of ethical reporting on children”, says Ia Antadze “With this initiative we only try to support journalists to learn these standards. We call our colleagues to partner with us to work together and to make our media more child-friendly.”
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