Ethics of News Reporting About Children in Georgia

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Frontline Georgia doesn't have a website yet, but does use its Facebook page to promote events and inform followers. (Credit: Facebook)

Georgian daily newspaper The Messenger reported that journalist Zviad Koridze gave a talk last week about the media ethics of reporting on children in the nation of Georgia.

According to the Messenger, Koridze claimed that “children’s rights in the media aren’t protected by legislation” so their rights are violated.

“These issues are mostly regulated by journalism ethics principles rather than legislation,” he is quoted as saying.

However, the Justice Ministry is drafting legislation “related to media coverage of children issues,” according to Ana Abashidze of the Public Defender’s Office Centre of Children’s and Women’s Rights.

Koridze reportedly explained that the media tends to report on children for one of two reasons: “if a child is the victim of an act of violence or if a child is a villain,” the Messenger reported.

“Blood and sex sell better; so media outlets are thinking about increasing their ratings. They are not really very interested in the fate of a specific juvenile,” Koridze said.

Koridze offered “insufficient anonymity” as an example of the rights of children being violated.

While the children’s names or last names may be changed or not given, media stories identify where the children live or go to school.  “It means that it is easy to identify the child even without knowing his or her name or seeing the face,” Koridze is quoted as saying.

The talk was at the Frontline Georgia media club.  Frontline Club representative Flora Carmichael explained to StinkyJournalism via e-mail that “Frontline Georgia is a franchise of the Frontline Club, set up by GIPA, a journalism school in Tbilisi [the nation’s capital] and modeled on the London club.”

The London club is a media club “run by the Frontline Charitable Trust, set up to promote independent journalism and provide training in the safety and health of journalists and other media workers in areas of conflict.”

The Georgia branch of the club doesn’t have a website yet, but does have an active Facebook page here.

StinkyJournalism has written to the Georgia club’s director, Maia Mikashavidze, and will update with any response.

StinkyJournalism has also written to the Messenger. We will update with any response.

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Ethics of News Reporting About Children in Georgia

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