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Ethical Reporting Practice for Children in Print Media Bangladesh

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Start your paper by stating its main argument. For example: This paper argues that Bangladeshi journalists have low awareness about ethical reporting on children. This may be evident in several cases of news reports violating children’s rights. Ethical journalism should attempt bring the positive changes, and have beneficial impact on the lives it touch. Ethical reporting demand the accountability, humanism and professionalism. This vision directly relates journalism to children, both literally and in spirit. Journalism for children is journalism for the welfare of the future. And yet journalism often forgets children. Unfortunately, news is mostly regarded as the business of adults.

Then, state how the background will be outlined. For example, the background will be divided into the following – cases of unethical reporting on children, studies about ethics in journalism, the lack of ethical codes for Bangladesh and the guidelines for ethical reporting on children.

The core ethics of the profession lies in its role as a watchdog for the public interest. The media should inform the public and help them understand the changing world so that they can make informed decisions. This is a good way to start because you are defining what is ethics. The media raises issues for public attention, democratic debate and accountability. In this role, the media should endeavour to seek the truth and expose it for the good of the public while taking care not to hurt anybody unjustly in the process. Children, and their interests and issues, deserve special attention. They deserve special care because they are especially vulnerable, and impressionable. To put it simply, ethical journalism in the context of children should serve the best interest of the Child through the power of the news media.

Upholding strict ethical standards requires of each journalist a measure of self-regulation. It is also essential for preventing government regulations or censorship that may curb journalists’ freedom of expression and the right to free speech. This does not mean that ethics can or should be codified in law. Ethical pledges have to be voluntary and based on the conscience of each journalist.

You need to cite your sources including date.

Nowadays newspaper has played important role provide the authentic message to the people. Different types of news creating awareness as well as portrait the true stories into people mind. While writing this message journalists are not aware about ethical reporting for children. This paper is going to analyze the level of awareness in Bangladesh journalist about ethical reporting on child.

Children constitute a very special segment of society and as such, should rightfully claim a fair share of the news agenda. Although children are often overlooked, journalism can and does directly and indirectly affect children of all ages.

You can just summarize this portion. Just state what it is and why it is relevant. The interrelationship between children and the news media has three broad dimensions:

1. Events often involve children and they become a part of the picture being reported on. News events involving children have direct implications for them with regard to their image, representation and wellbeing. Just as media coverage can affect children, so does a lack of coverage. Negligence of issues that are important to children has important ramifications because it is through media that adults, the decision makers, become more aware of Children’s issues.

2. Children regularly access news media, whether in print, television or online form. Children have the right to receive information, but since news is packaged for an adult audience, the content is often inappropriate for a child viewer. Consequently, events and issues depicted by the media may have serious impacts on child-consumers even if they do not directly involve children. News media, especially on the radio, television and internet, package entertainment along with information. A large amount of advertising is run alongside news contents. These may seriously influence children. An analysis of this is not within the scope of this research, but is nonetheless important to bear in mind.

3. Lastly, there is the issue of children’s access to media and their participation in the news. Research on children and the media show that children’s views are neglected even in issues directly involving or affecting them. Moreover, children’s voices are almost never heard in general policy matters or in the policy-setting processes that are often set in motion by Journalism. Let’s see one incidence :

not too detailed.

Fifteen-year-old Parul Akter has been gang-raped. She was kidnapped while on her way to school by Rafiq, Golam, Alam and Shafiq – four young men from the same area. According to the girl, they confined her to a house and repeatedly violated her. Locals found her naked in a nearby jute field. The accused have absconded. The girl is a student of class nine at the sole non-government high school in the area. She stood first in the annual examination last year. Her sister is a student of class seven at the same school. Her father Shafiqul Islam owns a grocery store in the local market. Their mother is a housewife. The couple has four children. The family lives on the north side of Morolpara in Rasulpur village. Parul is a beautiful girl and physically mature for her age.

The MRDI/UNICEF survey shows that stereotypes in the portrayal of children are often used. Some stereotypes are subtle while others are blatant. Many reports contain negative, stereotypical or generalised comments about children, especially street children.

Not too detailed.
The survey shows that, often, when reporters find violent/gory elements in a story, they get over-excited and sensationalise the report. They do not consider that many children will read/watch the report. In many reports, there were detailed descriptions of crimes. These types of reports can create panic among child audiences/readers or lead them to commit similar offences.

• Photos of dead bodies are often published in newspapers. Sometimes the photos are gory and terrifying. Some newspapers regularly publish photos of dead bodies recovered after launch accidents. Sometimes they even publish pictures of decomposed and bloodstained bodies. Sometimes the photos of raped and killed girls are published.

• The language and words used in a report carry certain connotations. In many reports, journalists use unnecessary qualifying words and adjectives to describe a child (either victim or offender) and these adjectives are often disrespectful to children (such as Tokai, crippled, destitute, helpless, etc) • In Bangla newspapers, journalists sometimes use certain words to narrate the gravity of a rape or assault. However, these words create sex appeal and often present the victim in a disgraceful way. • Reports of an alleged incident of rape by a high official: a number of newspapers published this report with a photo of the accused. The reports were mainly based on allegations and a case filed with the police. There was no proof. Some of the newspapers tried to sensationalise the incident by using certain words. There was enough information present in the reports to identify the alleged victim.

Another report claimed that a girl was raped and that the alleged rapist made a pornographic video of the incident and uploaded it on internet. Some newspapers even mentioned the address of the website. • The survey found many reports on drug addiction with detailed descriptions on how to use the drug, how it feels to take the drug, and where the drug is available. Even there were photos showing children smoking and inhaling glue. The captions identify them as Tokai (street children) giving a stereotyped impression about this section of society. • In a report on a child sex worker, the reporter tried to create sympathy for the girl but used inappropriate language that could actually put her at risk of further attacks. In many reports, street children are described as ‘Tokai’ (one who collects waste and garbage from the streets). When a child was found involved in conflict with the law, journalists tended to use this word.

• In one report, a 17-year-old boy was described as a “hired killer.” Although the report was based on allegations by law enforcers, the reporter presented the boy as a confirmed criminal. The report contained the name of the boy and a photo of him along with his father’s profession and detailed address. • In the case of the suicide of a girl who had been the victim of stalking or harassment, this incident is sometimes reported in the media in such a way that others would think that suicide is the only solution to such a situation. • Here are a few words often found in different reports on children: komolmoti,(innocent, angelic), oshohai (utterly helpless), tokai (street urchin, scavenger), sharirik bikrito shishu (physically mutilated children; referring to disability), shoroshi (16, with a connotation of ‘sweet sixteen’ found in; reports on rape). One report describes a sexually harassed girl as chonchola kishori (vivacious teen).

A girl is often forced into being raped (jorepurbok), which seems to imply that one can be willing to be raped; a rape takes place after taking away her clothes (ulongo kore), etc. • One report in the main data set is on a 17 year old boy alleged to be a mercenary killer. The report describes him as ‘Pichchi shontrashi al Amin’ (little criminal Al Amin). This term and another – uthtiboyosher shontrashi (criminals in early ages), are repeatedly used in the report. The report also provides his photo and detailed information on his family. It’s written in a sensational tone, providing his ‘low-rate’ charges per kill. The report appears to be totally based on a Rapid Action Battalion (an elite Bangladeshi police force) account of his arrest.

JATRI conducted a survey on “Ethics and Standards of Dhaka based journalists” by JATRI.

An Ethics and Standards guidebook is essential in order to improve the standards of journalism, according to the survey. Among 355 Dhaka based journalists found ethical standards to be poor in Bangladeshi journalism and the survey also reveals that the majority of journalists rate the world of Bangladeshi journalism poor in terms of ethical standards because there is no written code of conduct available in most of the media houses.

This may not be necessary. But, it may be relevant when discussing the guidelines in ethical reporting on children. WHO IS A CHILD?

Debates about the definition of ‘childhood’ are universal. In Bangladesh, a number of laws, rules and regulations exist that apply the term ‘child’ in different ways:

Majority Act 1875 : This law defines a child as anyone below 18 years of age. It also stipulates that children do not have the right to be a party in any legally binding agreement.

Children Act 1974 : This is the highest law of the country in regard to children. This law recognises the responsibility of the state to protect children. It has provisions to protect the children in conflict with law and children in vulnerable situations. As per this law, anyone below 16 years of age is considered a child. However this law is currently under revision.

Women and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 (amended in 2003):

A child comes under this law mainly as a victim of repression. Under this law, a victim of repression is considered as a child if he or she is below 16 years of age. It is important to note that both the Children Act 1974 and Children Repression Prevention Act 2000 prohibit publishing the names and identities of children involved in sensitive issues/incidents.

Bangladesh Penal Code 1860 : This law says that criminal responsibility cannot be imposed on a child if he or she is below 9 years of age. However, in the cases of children between 9 and 12 years of age, a judge can impose criminal responsibility at his/her discretion. Criminal responsibility is imposed on children aged 12+ unconditionally, however children under 16 are tried under the provisions of the Children Act, ensuring their protection.

Labour Law 2006 : This law defines children as those under 14 years of age. Anyone between 14 and 18 is considered an adolescent. This law prohibits employing children under 12 in any job. A 12 year-old child can only be engaged in work deemed suitable for children. Likewise, adolescents can be employed in non-hazardous jobs under certain conditions.

Child Marriage Restraint Act 1929 : As per this law, males under 21 and females under 18 are not allowed to get married. Guardians and Wards Law 1890 : This law considers 21 year-old males and 18 year-old females to be adults. This law is supplemented by family codes followed by people from different religions.

According to the UNCRC, anyone aged below 18 years is a child.

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC Committee) in its concluding observations (June 2009) recommended to the Government of Bangladesh to harmonize all laws and rules with the UNCRC definition of a child as any person under 18. It also recommended to make this definition consistent across the various legislations. When reporting the news, a child’s age of criminal responsibility is an important issue. According to section 82 of Penal Code, nobody under the age of 9 years shall be made responsible for a crime. If the child is between 9 and 12 years, the judge will decide whether he or she should be made responsible. The judge has to be sure that the child was aware of the consequences of their actions while committing the crime.

If the child is over 12 years, s/he is responsible under the penal laws of the country. But the trial of a child between 12 and 16 years shall be held ensuring adequate protection and wellbeing of the child accused as per the Children Act. The UNCRC does not mention a fixed a minimum age of criminal responsibility. The CRC Committee however, suggested to increase the minimum age of criminal responsibility to 12 years in its General Comment. The experts debate on another issue – the question of a court taking a child’s deposition into account. The Evidence Act 1872 says if the judge thinks the deposition of a child witness is acceptable, he can take a child’s deposition into account. So there should not be a fixed age for child witness.The age of a child often creates confusion – especially around the legal age for marriage and for the employment of a child in work.

Summary statement on the background of the study.

Problem Statement: I will look into this tomorrow. You can revise the background first. At What is the awareness level of bangla–jornalists familiar with?regardin ethical reporting? What are the source regardin the guidline?
What ethical codes of coduct are they familiar with? Least familier ? What are the souces of information ?

To heigh level of low level?
What are ethical code ofconduct ?
In terms of main theam .
Whether possible source ( Jatri).

Number of growing newspaper increasing day by day. The major question arises are the journalist are aware about code of ethical reporting. Are any formal directions abiding the code of ethics by the newspaper authority?

❖ What is the present code of general ethics practice in Bangladesh National dailies? ❖ What knowledge and practice are prevailing into journalist community? ❖ What is the relation between the code of ethical reporting and code of ethical reporting for children? ❖ What should journalist do maintain the code of ethics for children? ❖ What is journalist intention maintain the code of etics?

Objective of the study:

• To find out ethical standards maintained in the news contents of the mainstream media in Bangladesh on issues involving children. • To find out the awareness, perceptions and knowledge of journalists on ethical concerns in the context of children. • To find out why journalist are not maintain ethical code of conduct regarding children issue. • To identify the gaps and lapses therein and locate key areas for developing the capacities of journalists to facilitate ethical reporting about and for children. • To find out the news the news on children are violating children law. • To find out the children law violation affects on society.

Significance of the study:

• The research paper can help the student of journalism department learn the code of ethics for children. • The research paper will help the journalist to know about code of ethics for children should maintain for future generation wellbeing. • The research paper help to encourage journalist publish the success story, publish their opinion about their future, tips for well living. • The paper will help the editor maintain the code of ethics.

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