Nation Newspaper Exploits Children in Need of Help
Submitted by The Mahogany Coconut Think Tank/Watchdog Group
The publishing by the Nation Newspaper of Barbados, of two minors engaging in sexual activity, is a violent violation of the Convention of Rights of Children (CRC) as outlined by UNICEF of which the country of Barbados is a signatory. It is clearly pointed out within the CRC, that children have rights and privileges of adults. They are not the property of their parents or their schools but are equal to adults.
The photo carried on the back page of the Sunday Sun, was a very voracious grab at sensationalism and the public is correct in its outrage. Whether we condone under aged children having sex is irrelevant and the nation must know that in a small country such as Barbados, the children’s identities cannot be hidden.
The Mahogany Coconut Group calls on the greedy predators at the Nation Newspaper to desist from exploiting our Caribbean children with immediate effect .
We are convinced that this act of professional vulgarity will place the Barbadian journalist community in the trash heap of the profession. The Nation newspaper should be ashamed to exploit the images of Caribbean children. Its greed makes a mockery of its editorials calling for national morality. Once again we ask the simple question: Who will guard the guardians?
The top brass at the nation should be aware of the specific guidelines related to children in the document: Child Rights and The Media-Putting Children in the Right- Guidelines for Journalists and Media Professions by the International Federation of Journalists.
We quote from this document:
“Journalists need to be aware of the consequences of their reporting.
The co-operation of media organizations and journalists and their
Orientation towards safeguarding the rights and the dignity of children and
young adults is extremely important for all who strive for wider recognition
of children’s rights. Sensational coverage may distort and exploit a serious
problem, doing more harm than good. Some editors claim that
sensationalism permits serious social issues to capture the attention of
readers and viewers. However, such coverage rarely analyses the social and
economic causes of abuse of children: the dislocation of communities and
families, homelessness, corrupt employers, pimps, the drug culture or why
parents in poverty sell a child to support the rest of the family. The positive
story of children, their lives and their rights is not being told in full. To
examine how this can be changed requires examination of the professional
conditions in which media work, a review of the principles or guidelines
journalists and programme makers should follow, and the obstacles that
stand in the way of good journalism.”