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Children in Wales endorses the Youth Media Agency’s submission to the Levison Enquiry

Children in Wales has endorsed a submission to the Levison Inquiry made by the London based Youth Media Agency. The first part of the Levison Inquiry is looking at the culture, practices and ethics of the media.   The submission which has also been endorsed by over 70 other organisations across the UK, outlines some examples of how the press has portrayed young people.  It makes four recommendations.

1) We strongly recommend ’age’ be included as a classification of discrimination into the Editors Code, – Clause 12.i, as in NUJ Code of Conduct 9. (Referring to Editors’ Code Clause 12 about discrimination i) The press must avoid prejudicial or pejorative reference to an individual’s race, colour, religion, gender, sexual orientation or to any physical or mental illness or disability)

2) Children are a particularly vulnerable group in our society, as identified in Clause 6 in the Editors’ Code. We recommend that a new clause be added both to the Editors Code and the NUJ Code of Conduct that reflects the damage caused by generalising negatively around children and young people. ’Journalists should exercise a duty of care and avoid negative generalisations about children and young people’.

3) We strongly recommend the Press Complaints Commission is made more accessible to children and young people. For example, the PCC should develop a ’child and young person friendly’ interface on their website with language that is accessible to children and young people. We also recommend the Code is written in ’Child friendly’ language.

4) We recommend the Press Complaints Commission ensures someone within the organisation has trained skills in working directly with children and young people in order to handle their complaints with sensitivity and discretion.          

More information is available on the Youth Media Agency’s website