Role of media in reporting news items on sexual abuse of children
iChange is highly concerned by the observation that some media organisations and journalists have behaved in unethical and unacceptable manner in reporting the recent sexual abuse and murder of a young girl 5 years old.
Explicit graphic details of the ordeal she underwent, the aftermath of the tragedy and response of family and others are given exposure repeatedly in a very disturbing way.
Excessive attention has been given to all unverified stories of child abuse reported from other parts of the country. Attention of public has been diverted to other issues such as ratification of capital punishment.
iChange, as an organisation working closely with children, parents and teachers, feel that the current context is highly focused on gratification of low-level demand for blood and gory violence, including such acts on children.
Catering to such demands may increase ratings of news channels and boost sales of newspapers. However, the damage it inflicts on society at large is colossal.
Scientific evidence clearly suggests that unrestrained reporting of violence may promote further acts of violence, sometimes quite similar to the index event. In such cases these new violent acts are called ‘copycat’ acts. They may also induce lasting, crippling psychological effects in the viewers and readers minds.
Especially, the impact on children reading such reporting can be long lasting and devastating.
iChange makes a fervent appeal to all media organisations to exercise maximum restraint on reporting the recent incident, or any incidents of sexual abuse, or any act of violence including suicide.
This is a time to show how high our standards are despite the available cheap opportunities to make financial and other gains in the field of journalism.
For more details please contact: iChange (Pvt) Ltd, Kottegewatte Rd, Udumulla, Battaramulla, Telephone: 0112 675621/ 0777 552305 Web: ichange.lk