‘Care needed while reporting on adolescence issues’

UNICEF, Mysore Varsity hold workshop on ‘Development Reporting’

Mysuru:  The opinion that sharply came into focus at the ‘Development Reporting’ workshop was how the media has been ignoring the many problems and issues regarding adolescence behaviour.

Nearly 30 to 35 journalists from districts of Mysuru, Mandya, Kodagu, Hassan and Journalism students participated in the workshop on ‘Development Reporting – Regarding adolescence,’ jointly organised by UNICEF (United Nations Children Emergency Fund) and Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, University of Mysore (UoM), at Vijnana Bhavan in Manasagangothri recently.  

The workshop highlighted how news reports, analysis, interviews and feature reporting should be done while writing about adolescence issues.

“One should be extremely careful while reporting on adolescents. There should not be any reporting that would push adolescents to crime, their photos should not be published and opinions on them should be avoided,” said Child Rights Trust Executive Director Vasudev Sharma.

“The problems of adolescent girls should be viewed very seriously and delicately. Such girls are facing problems of child marriage, toilet issues, human trafficking, anaemia, sexual exploitation and many other problems. The other issues include LGBTQ, migration, orphaned children and all these must be kept in mind while reporting,” he said.

Challenges of adolescent protection: UNICEF Field Office for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana Chief Meital Rusdia said that giving protection to adolescents in India has remained a challenge. There should be more positive reporting on them, she added.

UNICEF is concentrating more on children’s development and empowerment and it has chalked out several programmes in this direction. The primary aim should be the protection of child rights, she said. UoM Registrar Prof. R. Rajanna inaugurated the workshop.

Resource person journalist Preeti Nagaraj, UNICEF Communication Expert Prasoon Sen & Dept. of Journalism and Mass Communication Asst. Professor Dr. M.S. Sapna were present.

Today’s media is ignoring the problems, challenges and other issues faced by the adolescents. On the contrary, they are only concentrating on crime about them during prime time on television and on front pages in newspapers. Hence, we are trying to sensitise the journalists by gathering them at one place about how to report on the other equally important issues of adolescents. We are also trying to involve the media more by chalking out several programmes for them to report in an unbiased way. — Meital Rusdia, Chief, UNICEF Field Office for Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Telangana

#MeToo discussed in workshop

On the #MeToo movement it is generally asked why no complaint was filed by women then? Why they did not expose it then? However, during adolescence there is a lot of pressure on the young minds. They will not know whom to go to while they are being sexually exploited or where to file a complaint. The main reason is fear and confusion and hence, they keep quiet. But once they grow up, they will have overcome that fear. Also now they have a platform to raise the issue. Hence, women are discussing about #MeToo.—Vasudev Sharma, Chief Executive Director, Child Rights Trust

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