Without doubt the article, “Children club starts anti-crime campaign” which appeared in The Star (30/11/2007, p.5) receives the glad rating because of how it reports on children. It presents children as responsible citizens who take charge of forming a campaign whose aim is to help heal Soweto of crime. The article challenges the common portrayal of children as victims of crime, who are also vulnerable and in need of protection. It does this by showing children, instead, as people who are doing something to tackle it.
Children are also portrayed as responsible by showing how they formed their own small businesses to make a living and not be reliant on their parents. This is a stamp of confirmation that they no longer want to be seen as helpless individuals who depend on their parents for money but as citizens who have a role to play, to make life better for themselves and the community in which they live. This will give some of the children in South Africa especially those in far flung areas hope that they too can do something good for themselves.
It will only be fair to commend the journalist who ran the story for also accessing the children and young people involved in the campaign. A photograph of the children and young people involved in the children’s club, accompanied by their names and ages, is featured. The chair person of the Soweto Children’s Club is also quoted.
These children have been given a voice and the opportunity to tell their own stories, about the initiative which is their brainchild. While the chair person of the club is 18 years old, and so no longer a child, as the chair, he can be seen to represent the views of the children and young people involved.
This is a very good piece of journalism. Bravo.