Communication of education institutions with the media. How to speak about children?

21 October 2021
Cum comunică instituțiile de învățământ cu mass-media și care sunt regulile de care trebuie să se țină cont în relatările despre copii?
UNICEF Moldova

Chișinău, 20 October – How do education institutions communicate with the media and which rules have to be considered in child-related reports? Over 500 education professionals from Cahul and Ungheni districts tried to answer to these questions in a webinar organised by the National Center for Child Abuse Prevention (NCCAP).

The NCCAP Chairperson, Daniela Sîmboteanu, mentioned: ‘The purpose of this event is to raise the awareness of professionals from education institutions, as well as of journalists, about the need to communicate in an ethical and responsible manner when addressing child-related subjects, based on the best interests of every child. When they want children to be heard by the media, every education institution must ensure a safe environment based on respect and dignity through an Institutional Child Protection Policy.’

At the event, the journalist and speaker Natalia Porubin, member of the Press Council, talked about the importance of a partnership between education institutions and the media, as well as about the enforcement of provisions of the Regulation on communication between education institutions and the media, approved by the Ministry of Education in 2014.  The document is meant for teachers and managers of education institutions and outlines how they are to communicate with the media representatives in cases, directly of indirectly, related to children.

‘The journalists have the right to request any type of information, and the education professionals have the obligation to ensure the protection of children with negative experiences. On the one hand, we have to grant the journalists access to information of public interest, and public opinion needs to be informed appropriately. On the other hand, it is critical for education professionals to meet the child’s best interests and in no way harm it. Both groups of professionals should keep in mind that child protection against any form of violence is a fundamental right guaranteed by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. At the same time, we must talk about violence against children so that this phenomenon could be prevented, reported and penalised when it occurs’, said Natalia Porubin.

Mr. Petru Langa, the Ungheni ‘Mihai Eminescu’ high school principal, was one of the participants in the webinar organised by NCCAP. ‘Given the role of media in the modern society, and the mission of education institutions, the communication between these entities fosters the development of a free and healthy generation. Effective communication between the media and education institutions has a crucial impact on the education of young people in the spirit of truth and freedom’.

Education institutions have both the right, and the obligation to communicate with the media, especially when this is required by the interests of children. However, this comes along with a large responsibility and a challenge to ensure that the revealed information harms neither the child, nor his family, said Gheorghe Trofin, coordinator of UNICEF Child Protection programme. ‘Media products have to observe the dignity and the rights of every child regardless of the circumstances, as well as the right to confidentiality, to expressing their opinion, to participation in making decisions concerning them’, concluded Gheorghe Trofin, coordinator of UNICEF Child Protection programme.

The core principles underpinning communication with the media include consideration of the child’s best interests, confidentiality of personal data, transparency of public institutions performance, observance of legal, ethical and moral provisions – according to which the adults are obliged to protect the child in every situation, the journalists’ responsibility to comply with professional ethical standards, tolerance and non-discrimination.

The activity is conducted by NCCAP under the EVA Project – ‘Strengthened Gender Action in Cahul and Ungheni districts’, funded by the European Union and implemented by UN Women in partnership with UNICEF. The opinions presented herein belong to authors and do not necessarily reflect the view of UN Women, UNICEF or of the European Union.

Media contacts

Angela Munteanu
Communication Officer
UNICEF Moldova
Tel: + 373 22 26 91 53

About UNICEF

UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and its work for children, visit www.unicef.org

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook