Media outlets seized pictures of the child in a bad condition, and quickly published them to achieve large proportions of views on social networking sites.
While experts denounced the exploitation of the child’s images, the Moroccan Press Council quickly called on women and media men to adhere to journalistic ethics in covering the operation to save the child Ryan.
The need to respect professional
Commenting on the issue, Dr. Nadia Lamhidi, an expert in media and communication, said that broadcasting Rayan’s photos in a miserable condition under the rubble is not relevant to a sober work.
And the spokeswoman confirmed, in a statement to “Sky News Arabia”, that Ryan’s picture inside the well is directed only to rescue professionals to serve the plan set by the authorities to get Rayan out of the well, and therefore it is not directed to public opinion.
The professor of journalism at the Higher Institute of Information and Communication in Rabat confirmed that publishing Rayan’s photo in this case violates the ethics of the profession, which calls for the obligation to preserve the right to the image.
Nadia Lamhidi warned that a large number of journalists approaching and gathering randomly at the scene of the accident may hinder the work of the rescue forces and undermine their efforts to rescue the trapped child.
And she added, “The child Rayan will come out unharmed, God willing, and he will grow up and will not like the pictures that were published about him while he is in that condition. The digital world has an indelible memory. What is the point of publishing such pictures?! That is why the media should address topics of interest to public opinion.” Instead of exploiting the situation to create excitement at the expense of professionalism.”
Ms. Lamhidi concluded, “We are waiting for the boy, Ryan, to come out unharmed, and we are also waiting for the press to pass the difficult professional exam that she is passing today.”
The pursuit of excitement
The National Press Council confirmed, in a statement seen by “Sky News Arabia”, that it “with great regret some of the shameful practices that accompanied the coverage of attempts to save the child Rayan, who fell into a well in the Chefchaouen province, recording many violations of the code of ethics for the profession of journalism, which were committed.” by some online newspapers.
The council, which is concerned with self-regulation of the press and publishing sector, in accordance with the requirements of the constitution, pointed out that some platforms ignore “the humanitarian principles contained in the aforementioned charter, which journalistic businesses and professional journalists are supposed to abide by, especially in light of crises and calamities, which cannot be transformed, in any case.” From conditions, to a field for material profit, cheap excitement to increase the number of views, and other methods of trading in human tragedies.”
According to the same source, a number of platforms that are showing violations have occurred, such as filming the child Rayan at the bottom of the well, with his bloody face, in a difficult humanitarian position, which harms the feelings of his family, in addition to violating the principle of the right to the image.
Employment of minors
The National Press Council also indicated that it is unacceptable to photograph and interrogate minor children who are in an abnormal human condition, as a result of being affected by the incident related to the fate of the life of a minor child, as well as to publish photographs of minors through video tapes in the vicinity of the rescue operation, for the purpose of free excitement, without taking into account their situation. psychological or their age.
The Council noted that some electronic newspapers have questioned the child’s family, clearly stating that this filming will increase the number of views, in addition to employing the psychological situation of the family, by asking questions that have nothing to do with the rules of the press, in a purely commercial business, taking advantage of confusion and extreme sadness, and fear for family members Ryan while they were waiting for a successful operation to save their son, in flagrant violation of the second axis of the press code of ethics regarding responsibility towards society, especially the first clause of it related to respect for human dignity.
The Council called on various media outlets to adhere to the ethics, noble principles and rules of the profession, noting that coverage of human calamities is considered a major test of the extent to which the press respects its social responsibility and its keenness not to turn the calamities into a means of profit and sustenance.