Media in the best intrests of the child

“Public, or any other, interest shall not have priority over the interests of the child.”

Compendium of good practices for creators of Media Content home


Through a consultation process on the protection of the best interests of the child, this theoretical and practical overview was designed for all creators of media content. “Media in the Best Interests of the Child: Compendium of good practices for Creators of Media Content combines the academic approach with practical experiences. Given the multidisciplinary nature of child rights and child well-being, complexity of the principle of “the best interests of the child”, as well as the multidimensional nature of the media which is constantly being redefined, the consultation process brought together a large number of experts, practitioners and activists.

The intention of this publication is to provide answers to questions of parents, general public, as well as to meet the needs of the media: editors, journalists and their interlocutors, and to provide educational material for students of different university courses interested in the child rights.

The Compendium is organized in three parts, with the first part intended to serve as an introduction to the situation and context in which child rights are regulated and protected in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This chapter provides an overview of basic information about the situation, legislation, institutional framework and barriers to implementation of child rights from the perspective of co-authors who are representatives of official institutions and organizations. Part of this chapter is dedicated to the description of the system regulating the media’s behavior in terms of ethical principles and child rights protection.

Chapter two sets a framework for professional approach to the principles of the best interests of the child in the media. In addition to the overview which describes the influence of the media on children at different stages of their development, this chapter Compendium talks about the participation of children in the media with special focus on the new “digital” generation, about the media literacy and protection from abuse in the media. Bearing in mind the special significance of the visual media, this chapter also deals with sensitive issues related to balance between child protection and visual promotion. Special attention is paid to the role of the media in the promotion of importance of childhood for the society as a whole, as well as to the active role of the media in the advocacy of social change for the benefit of the child.

Chapter three presents recommendations and good practices for the protection and promotion of the best interests of the child in situations where children are particularly vulnerable when it comes to the media. From emergency situations which particularly affect children, to extreme publicity, poverty, lack of parental protection and contact with judicial system, media face a risk of neglecting the best interests of the child even when they have the best of intentions.

Through the process of consultation, review and editing, the team of authors wanted to sum up the experiences and lessons learned with great dedication and respect both for the profession and for the child rights. The team of authors remains available for further discussions, improvements and review of the Good practices in order to turn the best intentions of the creators of media content into the protection of the best interests of every child.

This publication is also available on the Internet and open for comments, regular improvements and updates in order to answer its general purpose and remain up to date.







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