Turkey media watchdog fines TV channels over child abuse coverage

Two channels were fined for their stories about the murder of a 9-year-old boy

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Turkey’s top broadcasting watchdog has fined two TV stations a total of almost $240,000 over their coverage of child abuse stories, and will send the two channels a statement on how to cover child abuse cases in the future.

The two channels, Kanal D and Show TV were handed the fines by the Supreme Board of Radio and Television (RTUK) for their stories on the murder of a 9-year-old boy in the province of Kars near the Armenian border last month, according to Turkish news outlet Hurryiet Daily News.

Creating public pressure

“Such incidents must definitely be on the news,” said Ali Oztunc, a RTUK member from the main opposition Republic People’s Party (CHP).

“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,” he added, in an explanation why child abuse stories should be handled in a different way.

The 9-year-old boy in the news was found dead in a garbage dump in the Kars province last month, after being killed by an family acquaintance who had offered to give him a lift home.

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