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PIA Infobits

These are the rules and regulations and international conventions that media practitioners must observe when reporting on children victims.

(The following is lifted from the primer on Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, RA 9262, published by the Philippine Information Agency.)

In all media coverage involving children, their best interests should be the primary and paramount consideration by:

  • Respecting the child’s right to privacy at all stages of the proceedings or documentation of all cases involving children;
  • Seeking and considering the child’s opinion/consent in any matter or procedure affecting him/her on the content of reports and stories, publication of
    photos or airing in radio/TV interview;
  • Considering the inclusion of details – only if it will help the public understand the child abused or offended and not undermine the safety and dignity of child victims;
  • Keeping all records of sexual abuse cases strictly confidential except in connection with any court or official proceedings;
  • Keeping the child’s identity and respecting the child’s dignity by not publishing photos (past and present) especially those that are degrading;
  • Withholding additional information that may inadvertently lead to disclosure of the child’s identity e.g. parents’ full names, child’s address, school, etc.
  • Reporting crimes of violence against children or crimes involving children factually and seriously;
  • Exploring innovative ways/means to protect the child’s identity while reporting
    on their cases in a compelling manner;
  • Adhering to codes of conduct and guidelines developed by professional associations such as the KBP, PPI, the Adboard,
    and individual internal
    ethical standards of print and broadcast media;
  • Coordinating closely with government agencies responsible for children/women issues and concerns;
  • Respecting the authority of lawyers/legal counsels, social workers, psychologists, and other professionals responsible for child/women cases;
  • Conducting interviews during investigations and during the trial with the advice of counsel and responsible social workers; and
  • Refraining from exploiting children’s cases through media reportage for fund-raising/other purposes.