Journalists selected from both print and electronic media on Thursday validated the Gambia Press Union's (GPU) Code of Conduct on reporting stories relating to children, following its rigorous review and adoption on Wednesday. The review and validation was organised by the GPU in collaboration with the Child Protection Alliance (CPA), with funding from Save the Children in Sweden.
It is anticipated that media practitioners would at all times refer to the Code of Conduct when publishing or broadcasting stories about children, or when faced with an ethical dilemma. As indicated in the Code, media practitioners pledged to "strive for the highest standards of excellence in terms of accuracy, sensitivity, responsibility, balance and objectivity when reporting on issues relating to or involving children."
The president of the Gambia Press Union, Bai Emil Touray, addressing the journalists, described the initiative as significant, given the fact that issues of children are sensitive and thus imperative to know how to handle them. Touray promised that the validated document would be provided to media houses in the country for their use, while commending the participants for their effort during the two-day activity.
The coordinator of Child Protection Alliance (CPA), Njundu Drammeh, said the document will help to give due respect and protection of the images of children in the media. "We felt that it is important to review this document to ensure that we address the current issues affecting children and the way their matters are reported in the media," he said.
The country director of the International Center for Journalists (ICFJ), Alieu Sagnia, and the executive director of GPU, Ahmed Alota, both called on journalists to close ranks to ensure that they adhere to the Code of Conduct in reporting on children matters.