The perception of children’srights in Paraguayan press : A study of how Unicef communicates with journalists concerning child street-workers
This study focused on the level of success Unicef in Paraguay had in communicating its message concerning child street-workers to the press in Asunción. We also examined how the communication works between Unicef and the journalists, and how child street-workers appear in the press according to our sources. We based our study on the theoretical understanding of media logic and planned communication. These theories were useful to explain the possibilities and obstacles Unicef faces in its communication with the press. Our study builds on qualitative research interviews with journalists, communication staff at Unicef and the coordinator of the Global Agency of News, an organization that monitors how children appear in the Paraguayan press.
We found that the communication between Unicef and the journalists is very important and highly valued by both Unicef and the Paraguayan newspapers. The relationship builds on constant trade, where both parts depend on each other. Unicef needs attention from the press in order to spread its message to the general public. The journalists need Unicef because the organization works as a trustable information source to back-up their articles regarding childhood.
No one in our study was satisfied with the way child street-workers appear in the press. The children are often showed as victims or criminals and children’s rights are not always considered. A central problem is that awareness about children’s rights is low, both in the Paraguayan society and among many journalists. Unicef succeeds quite well in their communication with the journalists that are already aware of children’s rights. But the organization does not succeed in communicating with a big part of the press, as a lot of articles are still discriminative towards child street-workers.
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