Are your children safe in the media?

Read the following, and be ready to be shocked:

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One of the biggest offenses is attacking children in the media.

Elizabeth Lauten, Communications director for U.S. Rep. Stephen Fincher, publicly scolded President Obama’s daughters, Sasha and Malia for doing what most teenagers would do if they thought something was kind of nonsensical. As a teenager myself once, I remember many times thinking half the stuff my parents did was ridiculous and I’m sure it was clearly demonstrated on my face too. But luckily for me, I wasn’t made headline news for such a display.

One of the biggest offenses in media is attacking children publicly, and privately for that matter too. Anyone in communications should innately know that thinking before you write, is crucial. And anyone who breathes, knows attacking children in anyway is wrong, smacks of being a bully and clearly is demoralizing.

We need to change how we conduct ourselves in the media and how we treat other people. To get a fuller picture of what happened and the details read the articles here:

http://madworldnews.com/obama-daughters-turkey-pardon/

http://www.theroot.com/articles/culture/2014/11/elizabeth_lauten_faces_backlash_after_scolding_sasha_and_malia_on_facebook.html

Lesson 101 for being in the media, is clearly think about the impact of your words before you speak and write, because it leaves a permanent mark. Once your thoughts are out in the public, apologies often times aren’t enough. Posting on a personal social media page doesn’t make your thoughts private, it socializes your thoughts and stirs up emotional frenzy if you write about a taboo topic. There will always be someone who screen captures your thoughts and offers them to the public.

The first rule I believe, is children in the media are always off limits. They didn’t ask for the spotlight and shouldn’t be made public figures or in this case targets because of their parents occupation.

I thought long and hard about whether I should write my thoughts about this situation, and if I were adding to the problem. But the reality is, if we don’t talk about issues that affect us we are all at fault for not standing up and making a change.

Ask better questions of yourself. Better still just be the person you want to encounter in life. Show up as a human being who inspires others.

What would you do if it were your child?

Please share with me your thoughts about children in the media and whether we should enforce media privacy for children.

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2 Comments

  1. Since I was a kid (I was born in 1993) I have seen the media grow into something that I would have never thought. In a sense, I believe children should have different media privacy rules, but media is not something that is ever going to change. Media is giving people of all ages a new way to communicate about each other. This opportunity is not going to go away, so for this reason I think children should be able to see this in order to understand how they themselves can act responsibility on social media, for example. I know personally I learned a lot of things from the very few media platforms that were available in my preteens, and that sense of personal experience allows me to conduct myself in a professional manner on my current platforms.

    • I agree. Children do need to learn how to conduct themselves if they choose the spotlight. Establishing a new set of rules regarding children and the media is long overdue. Rules and regulations have yet to catch up with technology. It may be some time in the making but if we are vigilant as individulas we can make the interim a time to enlighten people about the issues. Thanks for commenting.


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