UNICEF awards journalists for ethical reporting on violence against children
Belgrade, 20 November 2012 - UNICEF Serbia awarded today radio, TV and print journalists for ethical reporting on violance against and among children.
The jury unanimously singled out and awarded:
Ana Mitic for her article published in daily Press on the anniversary of the death of a school boy Aleksa Jankovic who committed suicide after being bullied at school. Ms. Mitic has written an article which recalls a traumatic period and contributed to demolishing a social taboo – violence among children. The article tells about a dramatic life story through a combination of reporting and feature genres. It is written with a strong emotional charge but without sensationalism. The main aim is to send a clear message to society expressed in the title, which reads: “No child should ever be hurt again because of violence at school.”
A series of articles in Press daily helped to focus society’s attention on children’s rights and their protection, especially on the issue of violence against children. It also mobilized other media and called for action by parents, teachers and relevant state institutions.
The immediate effect of the article about this case is obvious: an SOS help-line for victims of peer violence has been set up within the Ministry of Education, a broad social coalition for the prevention of and fight against peer violence has been formed, and dozens of public debates and training courses on combating violence at school have been held.
Svetlana Toskov from Radio Zrenjanin for her radio programme Violence at school – like fighting wolves. This entry presents an inventive attitude towards a delicate subject and that it introduces listeners to the issue in an unusual way. Using a radiophonic allusion to fighting wolves and recalling an Indian wisdom about the battle between good and evil in us all, in which the winner is always the side which we ourselves nourish, the author symbolically raises the issue of relations among young people, and frequently among adults as well. Including an informative statement by the project mentor, who gives details of her own experience from her work with schools and children, this piece of radio journalism highlights the question as to whether all those who work with children or care for them - schools, teachers and parents - always know what is happening with and among children and young people and what the real causes of their occasional aggression are.
Dragica Pavlov Krstic for a TV report on peer violence in the programme With Vanja and Vlada, shown on Pirot TV. Credit is given for her creative, intelligent and witty approach to a serious and painful subject. By deciding to approach the issue of violence, particularly peer violence, in a cheerful and somehow playful way, the author has achieved an exceptionally strong effect.
The particular value of this TV report is the fact that the main protagonists are children and young people who speak about their own experiences and views on peer violence. This shows that they are aware of their rights and how they can protect them. As regards peer violence, they are learning how to prevent and resolve conflicts through theatre workshops, as well as cultural activities in general, through sport and while getting together in their own free time. The good atmosphere that in this respect exists in Dimitrovgrad bears witness to the fact that both children and adults are united in their action against violence. This feature represents a true TV experiment on how violence can be discussed without violence.