MCK Calls for Responsible Reporting on Minors

MCK CEO Mr. David Omwoyo at a past event

By Collins Orono

The media Council of Kenya on Thursday expressed concern with the increasing media reports that expose and violate children’s rights to privacy, warning disciplinary action against those violating the code of ethics.

In a statement signed by the Council’s CEO David Omwoyo, the council expressed concern with the manner in which content producers publish photos of children without being sensitive, reminding journalists to adhere to the journalism code of conduct as it applies to online and offline users.

“The Media Council of Kenya notes with great concern increasing media reports that expose and violate children’s rights to privacy and calls for responsible conduct when covering stories involving minors”. read part of the statement signed by the Council’s CEO.

The council further highlighted a raft of guidelines that should be followed by journalists reporting on minors.

Among the guidelines, journalists and content producers have been advised not to reveal the identities of children in cases concerning sexual offences, whether as victims, witnesses, or defendants. Except in matters of public interest, for example, cases of child abuse or abandonment, journalists shall not interview or photograph children on subjects involving their personal welfare in the absence, or without the consent, of a parent or other adult who is responsible for the children.

Children shall not be approached or photographed while at school and other formal institutions without the permission of school authorities.

“The Constitution of Kenya, 2010 under Article 53 (d) recognizes the right of all children to be protected from abuse, neglect, harmful cultural practices, all forms of violence, inhumane treatment, punishment, and hazardous or exploitative labor. Ends the statement.

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