Children, violence and the media in an expanding Europe - Guidelines, training materials and techniques
This pilot project set out to develop training materials for print and for broadcast journalists to improve media coverage of children affected by violence.
Working with the International Federation of Journalists, media groups and child welfare organisations in the Czech Republic, France, Spain and the United Kingdom, The PressWise Trust, a UK-based media ethics charity, has devised and tested three sets of modules: The Rights of Children & Codes of Conduct; Use of Images; Interviewing Children. They can be used on a 'pick-and-mix’ basis in vocational, in-service and distance learning settings.
Selected bibiliographies and web sites were also assembled.
The Project has succeeded in its basic aim of preparing and testing training modules or media professionals in the EU and one of the accession states, and to assist them in handling stories involving children and violence in a sensitive and responsible manner.
It has also sowed the seeds for the development of a network of journalists-trainers across Europe who can assist in the 'spreading the word' about the value of sensitivity training about children's rights within the mass media, especially in relation to the issue of violence.
It has built links with NGOs working in the field of children's rights, and sought to encourage more collaborative activity with and between media professionals in 'the best interests of the child'.
Elements of the training materials have already been put to good use among journalists from Armenia, Georgia, India, Kosovo, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia and Slovakia at no cost to the Project in the course of other training contracts undertaken by PressWise.
The project has also identified numerous areas for further elaboration of its aims and themes. Representatives of media organisations, industry training bodies, international agencies and specialist children's organisations in each of the participating countries highlighted the need to introduce more training on ethical issues in media training courses in colleges and universities as well as within in-service training. Journalists themselves indicated the need for more support and advice for those who find themselves isolated when they champion children's rights and challenge the system or carry out in-depth investigations. The project also exemplified the value of far greater co-operation and co-ordination between media professionals and organisations working in the field of children's rights.