Of reporting on women and children
The Bhutan Media Foundation has released the media guideline for reporting on children and women last week. The media guidelines were prepared in consultation with National Commission for Women and Children funded by UNDP.
As per the report in spite of Bhutan having adequate legal provision, women and children are subject to inhuman cruelties and they have to endure the worst forms of abuses. Issues related to women and children are complex in nature and it is important for the media and the journalist and media tom portray the true picture of the story which will requires interventions and increase awareness and understanding by causing minimal negative impact on the victims and its relatives.
Reporting in women and children in Bhutan has sometimes been insensitive and said to have real risk of harm, stigma disqualification and retribution. The privacy, dignity , physical and emotional development of women and children are crucial and need to be preserved and protected while reporting and publishing or broadcasting of news or programmes.
The guidelines has also been developed to mitigate the sensationalism and stereotyping in reporting and to help the journalists deal with issues relating to women and children with sensitivity, accuracy and fairness. Fair gender portrayal is an issue that merits priority if the media hopes to fully reflect the role women play in the society.
The guidelines provides a minimum set of parameters of responsibility for all forms of media in relation to reporting , broadcasting publication of any news , programmes on women and children . This will also provide a practical guidance for ethical reporting when confronted with ethical dilemmas of complex and diverse nature.
Further with these guidelines, the role of the media will be strengthen as an important tool to enhance the awareness on issues relating o the rights of women and children by causing minimal harm to the affected parties.
This move is expected to help increase the numbers of positive articles and stories in the media on women and children. This will also sensitize the journalist and newsmakers on the issues related to women and children.
According to the preamble of the guidelines all the Bhutanese media and journalist recognize that women and men, girls and boys in all diversity have the right to be heard. The members of the media must know that Bhutan as a fledgling democracy, media play a critical role in upholding the right in place mechanism to ensure that the views of women and men, girls and boys, regardless of their class, social standing or place of residence are given equitable chances to be heard.
Media plays an important role in changing the attitudes and mindsets of the people and the entire media house must pledge to strive for gender balance in reporting.