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Friday, August 10, 2012

Delhi HC nod to media guidelines for reporting on children

New Delhi [PTI] : The Delhi High Court today gave its nod to the guidelines for media reporting on children which stipulates various curbs including that the identity of kids be not revealed under any circumstances while covering stories of sexual offences, elopement and drug abuse. A committee, appointed by the court in February this year, had submitted the guidelines before a bench of Acting Chief Justice A K Sikri and Justice Rajiv Sahai Endlaw. "Media shall ensure that a child's identity is not revealed in any manner, including but not limited to, disclosure of personal informations, photograph, school or locality and information of the family including their residential or official address," 

the committee said in its guidelines on media coverage of cases like trafficking or organized crime involving children. The committee, comprising Principal Magistrate of the Juvenile Justice Board (JJB), a member of National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR), representatives of NGO, and a nominee from the Press Council of India, said the media should keep in mind the kids' privacy, dignity, physical and emotional development while covering any news involving them. The guidelines asked the media not to sensationalise stories relating to children and to be "conscious of the pernicious consequences of disclosing or highlighting information in a sensational form and the harm it may cause to children." 

"Media must ensure that due consideration is given to a child's right to privacy and to prevent the child from being exposed to anxiety, distress, trauma, social stigma, risk to life and safety and further suffering in relation to reporting or broadcasting any story on children," according to the proposed guidelines. The bench had earlier asked the committee to frame guidelines for the media after taking a serious view of media reports disclosing the identity of a two-year-old battered child admitted in AIIMS who later died and the minor girl who brought the baby to hospital early this year.