The Association of Journalists and leading Israeli media platforms have received a heartfelt letter from Professor Asher Ben-Arieh, Dean of the School of Social Work and Social Welfare at the Hebrew University. In his letter, Professor Ben-Arieh emphasises the need to prioritise the well-being of children in media coverage during these challenging times when the State of Israel is dealing with war and traumatic events on an unprecedented scale.
Prof. Asher Ben-Arieh, a renowned expert in the field of social work, acknowledges the vital role of the media in strengthening the resilience of Israeli society and disseminating information about the tragic events that have impacted families and children. His letter addresses two critical points of concern:
Protection of Children and Teens: Professor Ben-Arieh highlights the fact that news programs are often watched by children and teenagers who may inadvertently witness disturbing scenes, even if they do not fully comprehend the accompanying narratives. He calls upon parents and educational authorities to remain vigilant and informed about strategies to shield children from such distressing content.
Responsibility in Telling Children’s Stories: Prof. Ben-Arieh stresses the importance of handling the stories of children who have survived traumatic events with sensitivity and responsibility. While acknowledging the value of documenting their experiences, he underscores the need for caution, especially when dealing with young children who may not yet be ready to relive their traumatic experiences. He expresses concern that subjecting them to the process of recounting such events could harm their mental and physical well-being.
The letter passionately appeals to all media outlets to protect the well-being of children and refrain from conducting interviews and media events with them during these trying times. Professor Ben-Arieh acknowledges the importance of telling these children’s stories but urges media platforms to exercise great care to ensure their safety and emotional well-being.
Furthermore, the letter encourages responsible handling and dissemination of distressing images and emphasises the necessity of discussing strategies to prevent children and minors from being exposed to disturbing content on social networks.
In conclusion, Professor Asher Ben-Arieh calls upon the media industry to exercise the utmost care when it comes to the welfare of children during these challenging times. His appeal is grounded in his expertise as a leading figure in the field of social work, and he underscores the shared responsibility of both media organisations and society at large in safeguarding the well-being of children.
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem is Israel’s premier academic and research institution. With over 25,000 students from 90 countries, it is a hub for advancing scientific knowledge and holds a significant role in Israel’s civilian scientific research output, accounting for nearly 40% of it and has registered over 11,000 patents. The university’s faculty and alumni have earned eight Nobel Prizes and a Fields Medal, underscoring their contributions to ground-breaking discoveries. In the global arena, the Hebrew University ranks 86th according to the Shanghai Ranking. To learn more about the university’s academic programs, research initiatives, and achievements, visit the official website at http://new.huji.ac.il/en