Children, Youth and Media
The UN Convention on the Rights of the Child gives the child (anyone under 18) “special care and assistance”. South African national laws also provide special protection of children. Socially, children should be a central concern to everybody. However, in the media children and their rights are under-represented. When children do feature in the news they are most often represented as victims. Children’s rights to privacy and dignity are often violated within the media, subjecting them to secondary trauma, and often, contravening human rights standards. MMA has conducted a number of projects monitoring the media, many of our monitors are children, from various schools near Johannesburg. We advocate for a child-centered approach to news reporting. This means that the best interests of the child are paramount. Please browse through our many children’s reports and analysis pieces. Also see MAD OAT and the guides and tools section.
The Make Abuse Disappear Online Accountability Tool (MAD OAT)project aims to raise awareness and improve the representation of child abuse in the South African media. It does this through the use of technology and a network of child abuse experts, as well as a reference group of children. Our approach to this project is to be as child-centred as possible. It is essential that when trying to help children, we consider their opinions and not further marginalise them. For this reason we set up a child reference group who will meet regularly to review the articles and send letters to the media and media authorities.
Empowering Children and the Media
The Empowering Children and the Media research found that child victims of abuse are identified in 1 in 10 stories on child abuse. This flash application shows the results of this research, children's rights and children's opinions on media coverage. Empowering Children and the Media Resource
Children and the Media website
This website is designed to teach children about media, help them decide what media is good for them, and help children voice your opinion about media they like and dislike.