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Childhood and the Media: Images, Rights & Responsibilities Panel Discussion 2 – Part of @SWSCmedia #CyberStudies & #Liminality Series + #Childhood Studies

From the fourth in a series of Safegaurding conferences hosted by Bath Spa University, in association with David Niven Associates. (Courtesy of David Niven Associates).

Do Media infringe the rights of the Children?

Mike Jempson ran through a series of stories in the media which showed how the demands of the press had over ridden the rights of young people. Often this has occurred not through maliciousness but because there was not adequate knowledge or understanding of the complexities and impact such stories required.

However, sometimes social networks were being farmed for stories which clearly played upon the vulnerability of young people. An example was the Sunday Express creating a story about what the children from Dunblane Primary School were doing now by using their Facebook pages.

Panel Session 2

Charlotte Dewar outlined the responsibilities of the PCC with respect to protecting young people. She highlighted the Dunblane story as a turning point because, although the information is notionally public, there had been a clear privacy breach. It alerted the PCC to the very real concerns about young people and social media networks. The big issue it was dealing with was convergence where media operated over a number of platforms each bringing their own issues on dealing with young people.

Dr. Fleur Fisher gave a history of the TMAP which was set up to mediate on complaints about the sexual content of teenage magazines. However, it had not had to arbitrate on any complaints in the last three years. It was now looking a lot more at privacy issues and young people.

Sue Steel explained how the Alliance worked with the media to try and achieve positive and constructive coverage of bullying stories. This meant trying to educate reporters about the nuances of such issues. Within its own material the ABA never refers to bullies or bullying because it doesn’t find these terms helpful and instead uses person first labelling.

Join our debate and share your views about Childhood & Media on Tuesday (22-May-2012) at 8:00 PM London / 3:00 PM (New York) @SWSCmedia & @U4Change & @MHchat & share your views.

David Niven Associates  (@dnassociates) is a training and consultancy company offering services to statutory, voluntary and private sector organisations.

Mike Jempson, Director of MediaWise and a lecturer in journalism at the University of the West of England.

Charlotte Dewar, head of complaints at the Press Complaints Commission.

Dr Fleur Fisher, chair of the Teenage Magazine Arbitration Panel

Sue Steel, Co-ordinator of the Anti-Bullying Alliance



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