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Child abuse

Child rights, exploitation and the media

© International Federation of Journalists

The way media portray children impacts not only on society’s attitude to children; it also influences the way adults behave towards children.

Sensational coverage of child abuse does not tell the full story. Instead it adds to the indignity of children who have been abused. However, it is possible for reporters to depict children in a way that maintains their dignity, and avoids exploitation and victimisation.

Telling their Stories: Child Rights, Exploitation and the Media by the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is a guide for the media to contribute to improving the situation for children.

Amongst others, the Guide contains a commentary on the human rights of children and tips on how reporters can protect them. It is designed for reporters and other media professionals working in any area where children are visible and vulnerable. The guidelines avoid the trap of telling reporters what to write, but help them decide how to address these issues. It also provides ideas and suggestions on storylines for topical issues.

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