The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has called on local media to ensure the rights of children are protected when using photography in their stories.
Professional Photographer working with Unicef Giacomo Pirozzi was speaking on Friday in Blantyre during a day long training for journalists from various media houses in child photography.
Pirozzi further urged media practitioners to always be professional when conducting their jobs especially when handling issues to do with children so that they do not get in conflict with the law.
“The fact that these children are vulnerable and most of them cannot take us to court should not be a basis for us to move away from our ethical conducts,” he said.
He highlighted issues such as exposing child victims, children in conflict with the law or using any other picture of children without seeking permission from the children themselves, their parents or guardians as some of the issues that journalists should avoid.
“These children have a future to live in and we should always take that into consideration. What will they make of their pictures we use today ten years later when they become for instance presidents of managers? Let’s not take things for granted,” he added.
One of the journalists who participated in the training Chinsinsi Moyo from Capital FM radio said the training has opened her eyes in terms of selection of pictures for her organisation’s online content.
She challenged fellow media practitioners to be in the forefront in promoting rights of children by familiarising themselves with the newly enacted Child Care, Protection and Justice Act.
The training also exposed journalists to different ways of featuring children who are in vulnerable positions without necessarily revealing their identities through the use of silhouettes and camera-generated blurred images of the children.