NATIONAL NEWS - I am probably part of the last generation to have physical photo albums.
Today, parents have the tools to make beautiful videos and take thousands of photographs. When I was young, things were different.
My photo album is dear to me and it includes a few very special cut outs from local newspapers.
Being featured in the media, if you are a minor, it is usually a good thing. It celebrates milestones and achievements. Sometimes, you may be featured in the media simply because you partake in something wonderful.
The dawn of social media has changed how people view the media. Whereas parents used to celebrate their kids being featured in newspapers or magazines, some fear 21st century publication that entails online publication as well.
“Is it legal if a newspaper or online news service publishes photos of children?” is a question that I get a lot.
Firstly, the terms ‘explicit permission’ and ‘tacit permission’ must be ironed out.
- “Explicit permission” refers to the verbal or written consent that a parent or guardian gives that his/her child may be photographed for publication.
- “Tacit permission” refers to a scenario where somebody from the media is taking photos of your child or the child whom you are responsible for in your presence. You do not stop the photographer. This comes down to tacit permission.
When a photo is taken of your child/the child you are responsible for in a private space, explicit permission must be sought. Tacit permission suffices in public or semi-public spaces.
Many South African Schools provide parents or guardians with a letter stating that those who do not want their children to be featured in any online or print platforms should inform the school accordingly.
If your child’s school does not have such a notice or letter, suggest it to the school or governing body.
When the media arrives at a school, this safeguards the teachers in that they know exactly which children are not to be photographed or filmed.
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The law in this respect has changed provisionally in December last year. This video explains what you need to know.