THE MEDIA CAN PLAY THEIR PART TO PROTECT AND CARE FOR CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE IN THEIR COMMUNITY BY CHALLENGING NEGATIVE STEREOTYPES AND REPORTING ON CHILD ABUSE PREVENTION INITIATIVES.
Communicate and work with child abuse prevention organisations to develop effective responses to instances of harmful behaviour towards children and young people.
Avoid negative or unfair stereotypes of communities and cultural groups.
Convey child protection and child abuse prevention as being everyone’s business.
Promote a balanced perspective of young people. Share stories of young people who are engaged positively in their families, schools and communities.
Recognise and seek out the voice of young people in other stories, not just those that involve abuse or neglect. Article 12 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child states that: Children have the right to express their opinions freely, and have their opinions taken into account in matters that affect them.
Make the federal, state and local governments accountable for upholding Child Abuse and Neglect standards in terms of Australian legislation and policy.
Feature interviews with leading child abuse prevention experts when possible, so that the Australian community has a more informed public debate on prevention.
The digital media industry can partner with child abuse prevention experts to help keep all children and young people smart and safe online and offline. Working together, messages about the respectful use of technology in relationships and providing young people and children with knowledge and skills to manage their digital use can play a part in keeping them safe online and offline.
Provide details of support services when possible to encourage help seeking behaviours. Increasing families’ access to services and events can decrease their isolation and risk of child abuse.
Be aware of the impact of sexualised images of young people, remembering that children and young people are also exposed to the media.
Be a positive role model. Children and young people learn from the sources of information they are exposed to, so make your influence positive!
As a journalist and facilitator of community events, I take every opportunity to give children a voice. We can ask children and young people to speak, interview them, show their art work or photography or invite them to perform music or rap. There is no substitute for hearing the feelings, thoughts and experience of young people directly. Plus they bring energy, informality and hope to any conference or event.
Off the Leash is a free, monthly publication of “what’s on” for the arts and entertainment in the Top End of Australia. We include a “Kids page” which features a listing of events, with a focus on those which are free. We’ve also featured family-friendly restaurants and cafes, as well as day trips for the family. We are open for contributions from all members of the community. It’s also free to list your arts, cultural or arts related entertainment event. We hope that by increasing access to events and entertainment, families are supported to have fun together, and perhaps get involved in the community.
The ABC takes the treatment and dignity of children and young people so seriously it’s enshrined in our editorial policies. It’s indeed our responsibility to take extreme care regarding the physical and emotional welfare of children who find themselves in the news.