Top media watchdog fines TV channels over child abuse news
Meltem ÖZGENÇ ANKARA / Hürriyet
The murder of a 9-year-old boy in Kars last month had sparked outrage. DHA Photo
Turkey’s top broadcasting watchdog has fined two TV channels almost 500,000 Turkish Liras in total over their coverage of child abuse stories.
The watchdog will send a statement to the TV channels on how to cover news of child abuse.
Kanal D was fined 342,000 liras while Show TV was fined 157,000 by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTÜK) for their coverage of the murder of a 9-year-old boy in Kars last month. The watchdog also decided to submit a statement to the TV channels about how to cover stories about child abuse cases. A workshop including both the media members from televisions and pedagogues will be organized by RTÜK.
Ali Öztunç, a RTÜK member from the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP), said news stories about child abuse created public pressure on the possible criminals but may also encourage criminals to commit similar acts. He said the news channels must be very careful and act appropriately while delivering such stories on TV.
“Such incidents must definitely be on the news. They create public pressure. But it has another dimension too. The families may get disturbed [due to the news]. This news might increase the number of such incidents. This has to be examined scientifically. We will prepare a workshop where the television channel will be informed over how to deliver these incidents,” said Öztunç.
A 9-year-old boy was found dead in the northeastern province of Kars last month. The body of the boy, Mert Aydın, was found in a garbage dump five kilometers outside the city.
The killer was a man acquainted to the family. The man gave the boy a lift in his car telling him that he would drive him home.