Local Media urged to be Responsible

DebraMatthewHeadshotB(ZIZ News)– The Department of Child Protection Services is asking media professionals in St. Kitts and Nevis to be more responsible and sensitive when reporting on matters of abuse surrounding children.

Representatives of different media organisations are currently participating in a two-day “Media and Child Protection” workshop in an effort to improve accountability and transparency.

Director of Child Protection Services, Debra Matthew said media workers must take a new approach in how they formulate stories involving children.

“I would want at times when it comes to children issues, to just step back and get as much accurate information as possible before it’s printed. Because even if you print or read something on the news and say ‘More Information to be Updated’, I think you have already put something out there that calls for a lot of assumptions and people putting their own turns and twists to a particular story,” Matthew said adding that “When it comes to children issues, it’s just to take a step back, get as much factual information that you can and also try to protect the child’s identity, be confidential about certain issues. So I think that’s the only thing we need to really look at seriously in improving.”

According to Matthew, her department targeted the media because of the role it plays in influencing people’s attitudes and behaviour.

She said, “We have to start influencing the attitudes and behaviour of our society as it relates to how they view violence, so here again the media will come in to help get that information out. So we can’t really look at these issues as minor problems or no problems, they are problems that are definitely happening in St. Kitts and across the Caribbean and across the world.”

The Media and Child Protection Workshop is being facilitated by Dr. Tia Cooper, a Consultant from Trinidad.

It forms part of a week of activities to mark Universal Children’s Day 2014.

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