Guidelines in Reporting on Children

RECOGNIZING

That children have the same dignity and rights as those of adults;
That children can be productive for themselves and for society;
That children need protection from all kinds of harm; and
That in reporting about children, their best interests come first.

I therefore shall:

STRIVE to maintain the highest standards of ethical conduct in my reporting;

CONSIDER its short-and-long-term implications on their welfare and rights;

REFRAIN from illustrating my reporting with photos or graphics that commodify, or sensationalize their plight;

AVOID using words that stigmatize or traumatize children;

PROTECT and RESPECT the diverse cultures of Filipino children;

AVOID discriminating against children on the bases of sex, gender and cultural identity, as well as ethnic and religious background;

SEEK, CONSIDER, and RESPECT the opinions of children, and promote their right to participate in decision-making on issues affecting them;

EXERCISE patience and sensitivity when interviewing children, using words or language they easily understand;

WRITE stories raising public awareness and mobilizing public support for their survival, development and protection, as well as their participation in creating an environment in which they are protected from information, data and images that promote sex, violence, discrimination, conflict, vices, and the use of illegal drugs and substances;

In cases of children who are victims of abuse, in conflict with the law, caught in armed conflicts and in other special circumstances, I shall:

OBSERVE the confidentiality of their names and other information that may lead to their identification to ensure their safety and privacy whether as victims, witnesses, or aggressors;

SECURE the consent of their guardian or custodian before interviewing them or taking their photographs;

REFRAIN from exploiting any of such cases for fund-raising and similarly-oriented activities; and

REMEMBER always that children in special situations are victims of circumstances. This is a challenge to me as a journalist and the general public to protect and empower them.

_______________________________________________
October 13, 2003
Launched and approved by the PPI Members

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