Children speak at a forum about children's affairs in the northern province of Hưng Yên. — VNA/VNS Photo Đinh Tuấn
VĨNH PHÚC — The press plays an important role in informing child affairs, so journalists should be equipped with more knowledge and skills in order to both work more effectively and protect children's rights.
So said Đặng Hoa Nam, director of the Child Affairs Department under the Ministry of Labour, Invalids and Social Affairs (MoLISA), at a conference on Wednesday in the northern province of Vĩnh Phúc.
“The press’ participation in protecting the children” was organised by the MoLISA and the Management and Sustainable Development Institute (MSD). It aimed to provide further training to journalists to improve the quality of their stories about children and their protection.
The conference attracted more than 50 journalists from northern provinces and cities.
Nam said Việt Nam was the first country in Asia and the second country in the world to ratify the United Nations’ Convention on Children’s Rights. Việt Nam also enacted a legal framework to enforce children’s rights.
Despite the progress, reporters still struggle to properly report news stories about children and the challenges they face.
In fact, Nam said, several reporters intentionally used sensitive words and photos in stories about children, potentially having serious and lasting consequences on the children's psychology and development.
During the conference, reporters and experts discussed policies, legal documents, sex abuse against children and child labour.
Lê Quốc Vinh, director of Lê Media Group, said journalists today face new challenges in competing with social networks.
Newspapers often follow sensational stories, sometimes sourced from social networks, without checking their accuracy.
“We must remember that social networks are just pieces of the puzzle and the press has a responsibility to provide a complete picture with deep research expertise, integrity and accuracy to ensure the protection of truth and children,” he said.
Nguyễn Ngân, a journalist from Vietnam Television, said journalists need to make the interests of children a priority and write articles with heart and responsibility to make sure children are not accidentally hurt by journalists.
Nguyễn Phương Linh, director of MSD, said: “We hope after the conference, journalists will learn more useful information and be inspired and motivated to communicate children’s issues and protect children in an effective way.”
She said the issue called for a long-term strategy, persistence and dedication from every journalist to protect the children through three areas: prevention, support and intervention education.
A similar conference will be held in HCM City on August 8 with participation of journalists from southern provinces and cities. — VNS