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Adhering to Media Guidelines
The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) champions the rights, welfare and
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Adherence to media guidelines

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Dear Media Partners,

Please find attached a press release from us on the subject of children's privacy and protection in the press. This is in response to the coverage of the house fire incident in Belize City, and the disappointing disclosure of the names and ages of the two young children involved.

NCFC understands that this information was given out as part of an interview by the operations officer at the fire department, but this does not relinquish the responsibility of the media in it's reporting duties with respect to children.

As a result, please find attached a short press release underlying our position.

If you have any questions, then please contact us, and we would be happy to discuss any issues. We look forward to working closely with you all.

Yours Sincerely,
NCFC.

Published in: Education
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Adherence to media guidelines

  1. 1. Adhering to Media Guidelines The National Committee for Families and Children (NCFC) champions the rights, welfare and development of Belizean families and children, which includes the protection of children’s rights under the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, of which Belize is a signatory. Our mandate includes working with all the media houses in the country to provide education on their roles and responsibilities in protecting the identities of children when reporting the news. With regards to the coverage of the house fire incident this week, where the names of two very young children were reported as part of the story, the NCFC wishes to remind everyone working within the news industry of the media guidelines previously circulated. Your attention is drawn, in particular, to point 1, “In any case where a child is involved in incidents, the reporting of which is deemed to be in the public interest, the child’s identity is to be protected where public knowledge of such identity may have adverse effects on the child”. In this particular instance, the names did not add any substance to the story, did not serve any public interest, and therefore should have been withheld, regardless of the fact that they were given as part of an interview by the operations fire officer. The NCFC reiterates that "Children have an absolute right to privacy...” and this is only exempted in special and extreme circumstances. As a self-regulating industry, the NCFC asks that the members of the journalism profession treat the protection of children’s identity with the importance and respect it deserves, and that the media in general adhere to this principle in every instance. **Press Release*** “Championing the Rights, Welfare and Development of Belizean Families and Children”

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