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Research on media coverage of child-related issues presented

By Messenger Staff
Monday, February 23
UNICEF-supported research on the coverage of child-related issues by the Georgian media was presented at the Courtyard Marriott on Friday. The research, entitled “Ethical Reporting on Children in Georgia – Situation Analysis’ was conducted by journalist Zviad Koridze in May-July 2008.

The research suggests that the Georgian media has adopted certain stereotypes when reporting about children. The names and identities of the children of those involved in crime or who are the victims of violence are usually disclosed.

“The Georgian media still lacks a set of overall professional standards, which would be equally honoured and observed by journalists and managers; an overall code of ethical norms does not exist. Only a few media outlets practice their own codes but they fail to create a favourable climate; Journalists report child-related issues in a generalized manner. Minors represent one of the qualitative groups of media diversity and journalists and media outlets should therefore exercise particular caution when covering their lives or actions. A stereotyped approach to children dominates the Georgian media, leading to dire consequences; generally, the stereotyped thinking impedes the development of the media as a democratic institution,” the research reads.

The author of the research gives some recommendations to Georgian journalists at the end of his work, including publishing a digest of all laws which regulate every sphere of minors’ rights as well as holding seminars and trainings on child coverage issues for both regional and Tbilisi-based journalists.