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Children, race and media ethics

A picture of a Grade R class at Laerskool Schweizer-Reneke in the North West has been circulating in the news as well as social media. We understand that as parents, we want to share this picture and story to as many people in our social networks as possible in order to bring awareness to the racial segregation alleged to be taking place at the school. However, MMA would like to encourage you not to share these pictures, especially those in which the faces of the children are not blurred out. Here’s why

–          While it is definitely in the public interest for South Africans to know about the incident, our question becomes: Is it in the best interest of the children to have their faces splashed all over social media?  Given the nature of the incident and photographs, we argue that identifying the children could lead to potential harm, including secondary emotional trauma and potential victimisation.

–          According to the Bill of Rights talks about the right to human dignity and respect. By sharing these pictures, you comprise these children’s rights.

It is important to note that as the public, we have to wait for the relevant authorities to investigate the matter and follow appropriate recourse.

 If you have any questions, please feel free to contact us on @MediaMattersZAor call us on 011 788 12