Of re­port­ing on women and chil­dren

Bhutan Times - - Editorial -

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.

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