Project positive things about children

… Child rights activist urges media

From David Allan Paintsil, Cape Coast

Mr. Affail Monney, Vice Chairman, GJA

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Children’s Rights International, a non-governmental organisation (NGO), Mr. Bright Appiah, has called on the media to project positive things about children, rather than focusing on the negative things they did, as a means of protecting their rights.

He explained that positive things about children in the media increased their confidence and motivated them to do positive things, as against negative things, which affected them negatively.

He said children had a lot of talent so it behoved on the media to help unearth those talents by portraying them in a good light, as well as commending them on their achievements.

He gave the advice at the end of a two-day training workshop for the media in Central Region at Elmina on Tuesday.

Mr. Appiah said the media had the responsibility of protecting the privacy and dignity of children, and expressed disgust at a situation where some media houses exposed children in their publications.

“The child’s interest should be paramount to the media, and that they should not do anything to violate children’s rights,” he said.

The programme was organised by Children’s Rights International and sponsored by the European Union Commission, with support from Plan Ghana International, an NGO.

The Vice Chairman of the Ghana Journalists Association (GJA), Mr. Affail Monney, said the media was powerful tool which could shape the behaviour of children, either positively or negatively, and appealed to journalists to focus on the positive aspects of children.

He said journalists should not pretend to be all-knowing and infringe upon the rights of children, because they had instruments that could be used to bully people.

The Central Region GJA Chairman, George Ebo Sackey, called on journalists to shy away from irresponsible reportage on children, and take the knowledge they had acquired at the training seriously.

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