The Albanian Media Council expresses its concern over the recent case of sexual abuse of a 15-year-old minor and the manner in which she was reported.
In such extremely delicate cases, we urge the media to be careful in reporting the event, especially where the victim is a minor. The media plays a crucial negative role in the child’s future if he is careless and does not protect his privacy.
Seeing the ethical violations in the reporting, the AMC has decided to publish an ethical guide to be noticed by journalists in other cases.
The media should NOT publish in any case, the name of the school that the child attends, the name of the neighborhood / area or village where the child resides. In case of their publication, the child is more easily identifiable and this is in complete contradiction with the protection of his privacy. In addition, the publication of the name of the school increases the negative pressure on other minors who attend the same school.
The media should in no way identify the parents of the abused child. The publication of the name and appearance of the parents / family members also violates the anonymity of the child and his right to privacy. Even when parents or family members willingly agree to make a statement or interview to the media (often unaware of the consequences of this exposure for the minor in the future), the media must protect the interest with it. above the abused child and forward these interviews / statements by covering up the images or hiding the identity of the family members.
In such cases, the attention of journalists and the public interest should be directed to the phenomenon, and not to the perverse details of the event.
The Albanian Media Council hopes that these guidelines will be valid for the media and for a more professional reporting, in cases where minors are victims of abuse.