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National seminar for journalists on ethical reporting of child issues was held in Almaty.

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Almaty, 2 November 2012 – A national seminar for journalists “Ethical principles in reporting child issues” was held in Almaty on 1-2 November 2012. The event was organized jointly by the Ombudsman’s office in Kazakhstan, UNICEF Kazakhstan and the Public Association “The Union of Intellectual Labour Women” and financed by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Kazakhstan.

Welcoming remarks were made by Vyacheslav Kalyuzhnyi, Head of the National Human Rights Centre, Radoslaw Rzehak, UNICEF Deputy Representative in Kazakhstan, and Aidar Yessenbekov, Deputy Head of Almaty City Department of Internal Policy.

The workshop brought together child-focused journalists from all the regions of the country. The participants learned about the experience of Russia and the Scandinavian countries in covering child issues, presented by Valerii Hiltunen, the Vice-president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, teacher, child journalist, member of the Russian Union of Journalists, and the winner of numerous awards in journalism. The experience of Ukraine was presented by Viktor Petrenko, Chairman of the Council of the Ukrainian Media Workers Association, First Vice-president of the Eurasian Academy of Television and Radio, the Vice-president of the International Conference of Journalists Unions, PhD in history, honorable worker of culture in Ukraine. The participants also learned about the issues and challenges in covering child issues in Kazakhstan presented by Helcha Ismailova, a journalist of the “Vremya” newspaper, the winner of the contest on covering child issues conducted by UNICEF.

The workshop covered various aspects of children’s vulnerability in reporting childhood issues and acute problems such as child abandonment, inclusion of children with disabilities, use of video and images of children, protection of child rights and interests. In addition, practical examples of unethical reporting on child related topics were examined. All participants agreed upon the main principle in covering child related topics – do no harm to the child being covered in the media. The participants lamented the lack of interest from the large print media in coverage of child-related subjects and expressed a wish to introduce a special course on child journalism at university departments of journalism. In the prospect, it is planned to hold media workshops with involvement of lawyers and psychologists as well as international UNICEF experts.

For additional information contact UNICEF Communication Section and Ombudsman’s office in Kazakhstan.

Mr. Sultan Khudaibergenov, tel. (7172) 32 28 78, 32 17 97, cell: (701) 943 0690
Mr. Damir Kozhanbayev, tel. (7172) 74 05 30, cell: (702) 175 45 80


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