Who we are
Media Monitoring Africa (formerly the Media Monitoring Project) has promoted democracy and human rights through the media since 1993. It acts in a watchdog role to promote ethical and fair journalism that supports human rights.
What We Do
Media Monitoring Africa engages in a range of activities that aim to promote human rights and the democratic role of media. We utilise our research results to engage with media, government and civil society to improve practice and understanding around the importance of media ethics, quality and freedom.
MMA is completing the report on the 2011 Local and Provincial Elections in South Africa and the Patients’ Rights: Writing it Right report on health coverage in the Zambian media, funded by OSI, and initiating the children's schools project for 2012, funded by the EU, where we teach children to monitor the media.
For comment on current media issues or any other information contact us on:
Tel: +27 (0) 11 788 1278
Fax: +27 (0) 11 788 1289
- Schoolboy killing: how far should the media go?
The story of the murder of a pupil at a KwaZulu-Natal school that was caught on camera has brought to the fore a number of critical editorial considerations. This following the publication of the video by various local media including The Daily Sun. William Bird, Director at Media Monitoring Africa and Daily Sun publisher Jeremy Gordin debated this issue during the eNews Channel’s News Night programme with Jeremy Maggs. Click to read the full story and watch the heated yet interesting, insightful and informative debate on VIDEO HERE.
- Invitation: Ukuthwala Photography Exhibition
Media Monitoring Africa presents and invites you to a photography exhibition on the practice of ukuthwala themed: “The Silence Beyond the River: Encounters with the lives of ukuthwala”. The exhibition runs from 1 - 15 November 2013 at The Bailey Gallery, Arts on Main, 264 Fox Street, Maboneng Precinct, Johannesburg.
- e-tv news mainstreams child welfare issue.
e-tv’s prime-time news bulletin gets a GLAD for raising awareness about the challenges that beset the Department of Social Development in meeting the needs of orphans and vulnerable children. Not only does the bullettin bring the issue into the public’s attention but it exercises extreme caution in their coverage by protecting the identities of the vulnerable children featured in the bulletin.
- Inconsistent application of the law and ethical codes, a cause for concern
The New Age gets a MAD for giving inadequate and inconsistent attention to a child suspect’s right to privacy.
- The Times’ timeless coverage of a child
Media Monitoring Africa commends The Times for their inspiring and positive portrayal of a child who is a cancer survivor.
- MMA’s William Bird comments on SABC-MultiChoice deal and e.tv’s OpenView HD
William Bird, Director of Media Monitoring Africa, commenting on the broadcasting deal between the SABC and MultiChoice, said the contract was great for MultiChoice, but devastating for the SABC in financial terms. Mr Bird also indicated that the deal was a devastating development for South Africa’s democracy as it gave a commercial broadcaster total control over a public broadcaster, which was totally unheard of.
- 100% Unhappy with Editorial Interference
Media Monitoring Africa responds to the call by the Acting Chief Operations Officer at the SABC, Hlaudi Motsoeneng, for 70% of news stories to be aired by the public broadcaster to be positive.
- Poor portrayal of pupils is patronising
Deviant behaviour among the youth is a cause for concern, but what is equally concerning is how the media chooses to cover such cases where children behave in ways that are not socially acceptable. The Daily Sun was well within their rights to inform the public about a group of children who went on a drinking binge spree but their coverage was done in a poor taste and in ways that demonise and vilifies them.
- Sowetan fails to protect child victim
Sowetan’s “Pupil loses testicle”, (30/07/2013 p. 5) is selected for a MAD for failing to take into consideration the best interests of a child who was assaulted by his teacher.
- Protection of vulnerable children is always necessary
The Sowetan’s coverage of a story about a group of vulnerable children actively taking part in wishing Nelson Mandela a happy birthday and expressing how they feel about him gives us a reason to be MAD. It identifies the children, who might be victims of various forms of abuse in so doing exposing them to potential harm.
- Going an extra mile to protect identities of child victims
The New Age deserves to be commended for writing articles that protected identities of children who are victims of abuse and witnesses in legal proceedings.
- The New Age article recognises girl power
Media Monitoring Africa commends The New Age for its empowering portrayal of a 16-year-old girl in its article “Manenberg girl beats the odds” (12/07/2013, p.10).
- Criminalising ukuthwala: Who will act against the perpetrators?
In the wake of the recent approval by President Jacob Zuma of the new human trafficking Act, MMA’s Lusanda Ngcaweni says the Act may as well not exist unless it is enforced. The article relates stories of girls and women who experienced ukuthwala and were interviewed in the Eastern Cape as part of MMA’s research project entitled “The Girl-Child & Ukuthwala: Misappropriated Cultural Practices and their Contribution to Human Trafficking in South Africa”. The report is due to be released later this year.
- Sowetan struggles to strike a balance
“[ ] strikes big off the football field” (Sowetan, 12/07/2013, p.3) is selected for a MAD for several reasons, amongst them, contravening the Maintenance Act and failing to give weight to the best interests of the child.
- The Star advocates for educational rights of children with disabilities
Charlotte Chipangura’s article “Schools failing to educate children with disabilities” (The Star, 16/07/2013, p.5) receives a GLAD for giving the reader valuable information about children with disabilities who are denied appropriate access to public education and for sparking a discussion on salient issues that affect children’s development and their well-being.