HAVE YOUR SAY
NAPCAN is interested in the way that the whole community plays a part in building safer, more nurturing environments for children.
This includes how children are portrayed and treated by the media.
This is not merely a case of encouraging the media to use the correct words or terminology; more broadly, the way children and young people are represented in the media mirrors their status and treatment in the general community.
Overall, NAPCAN advocates for the media to:
- Take a balanced and sympathetic view of children and young people
- Include the voices of children when presenting on issues in which children have some interest
- Consider a child’s best interest in stories featuring children – ask yourself ‘what if this was my child?’
- Report on child abuse and neglect in a manner that is helpful rather than harmful, using appropriate terminology.
What are the Guidelines for the treatment of children and young people in the media?
The draft guidelines are a summary of issues that have been of particular interest to NAPCAN in recent years. The aim is to begin collating the issues and ideas on this topic in order to develop a set of tools for use by the media and other organisations who deal with children and young people.
This discussion paper covers the broad topics of:
- How children are represented generally in the media
- The rights of individuals in the media
- How child abuse and neglect is covered in the media
NOTE: The topic of children in the media is expansive. This draft discussion paper is by no means a comprehensive coverage of all the issues. While we have deliberately kept this discussion broad at this stage, we would be very interested in building on these ideas to develop guidelines for specific groups of children, in partnership with specialised organisations and reference groups.
Together, we can create a positive framework for making sure our young people are valued and heard, and that topics relating to child abuse and neglect are treated respectfully and constructively.
If you have an interest in this topic, please take a look at the draft guidelines and let us know your thoughts. In particular, we’d love to include young people and media representatives in the conversation.