Krungthep Turakit, Thai PBS win 2011 UNICEF Child Rights Reporting Award
BANGKOK, 24 January 2012 – A documentary television programme about the challenges facing a stateless girl in southern Thailand won the 2011 UNICEF Child Rights Reporting Award for broadcasting, the organization said today.
The Thai Public Broadcasting Service (Thai PBS) documentary focused on an 18-year-old stateless girl in Prachuap Kirikhan Province, who due to travel restrictions on stateless people could be prevented from furthering her studies at Rangsit University in Bangkok.
In the print news and feature category, Krungthep Turakit won an award for a human-interest story on a project that teaches blind children photography.
The UNICEF Child Rights Reporting Award, created by Isra Institute and UNICEF in 2005, is given annually for the best media reports related to children’s rights that are published in local newspapers and broadcast on radio and television. The award is also presented to newspapers published by junior-high school and university students. About 60 entries were submitted for this year’s competition.
“Many news reports and TV programmes that won the awards this year have helped to focus more attention on children’s issues and the violations of their rights,” said Anand Panyarachun, former Prime Minister and UNICEF Thailand Ambassador, who presented the awards at the Century Park Hotel in Bangkok on Monday.
For the past several years, UNICEF has been supporting Isra Institute to carry out a series of child rights sensitization workshops for professional media, journalism professors and journalism students in order to promote children’s rights and ethical reporting on children within the media.
At the award presentation ceremony, three children were invited to share their experiences in dealing with the media. One of the children was Keigo Sato, the young Pichit boy who was reunited with his Japanese father in 2009 after massive media coverage, while the other two were juvenile offenders.
Kejo, a shy 11-year-old, told the audience that while the intensive media coverage had helped reunite him with his father, the media sometimes asks him personal questions that he does not want to answer. The juvenile offenders said the media sometimes violated their rights by asking insensitive questions, revealing their identities and repeatedly portraying them as the ‘bad guys’ in their reports.
Anand noted that “although the media has generally done a better job in reporting on children compared with the past several years, violations of children’s rights still exist in some reports and television programmes.”
Anand said that when the media is guilty of violating children’s rights, the public should take steps to protect children by complaining to the media outlet about such reports.
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