Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) recently hosted a landmark series of events to commemorate Black Wednesday (19 October 1977) and to applaud those in the sector that have been pushing boundaries to maintain and deepen quality ethical journalism. Each of the events took place in the evenings during the week Monday 21 October to Thursday 24 October 2019, and explored different critical media-related topics and issues. Recognising that media freedom should not just be a concern to media houses or journalists, each event was open to the public and saw an exquisite line-up of panelists from across the sector, including experts, academics and journalists, sharing their views and insights.


Children take on the media on Media Freedom Week!

On the 21st October 2019, Media Monitoring Africa launched their Media Freedom Week festivities with a bang! Hosted in Johannesburg, the panel discussion zeroed in on children and the demands they have for the media. Facilitated by 702 presenter Joanne Joseph, she highlighted that reporting on children is a topic that is important and must be discussed in the media.

“Children only make up 10.6% of news across all publications, yet they make up 35% of the country’s population” – Taryn Hinton

Three children media monitors presented their demands and here is what they had to say

“We demand that media should represent children in many roles, especially positive ones. Therefore, we want to see more stories of survivors, heroes, active citizens, sports children and achievers. We don’t deny that bad things happen to children but there should be less stories where children are shown as powerless victims, criminals or children in poverty.” – Parkhurst Primary learner Sukoluhle Ndlovu

A discussion by Taryn Hinton (Legal advisor Media Monitoring Africa) and Nikiwe Bikitsha (Co-founder and CEO of Amargi Media) took place to discuss the demands that the children had presented. Taryn Hinton highlighted that when reporting on reporting on children, it is very important to at all times tell the truth and further minimize harm, the latter means not subjecting children to secondary trauma in pursuit of a story.


Here are some tweets from the evening:

The Isu Elihle Awards 2019 finalists were announced, congratulations to Athandiswa Saba (SA), Jamaine Krige & Yeshiel Panchia (SA), Collins Mtika (Malawi), Kennedy Nyavaya (Zimbabwe) and Thomas Otieno Bwire (Kenya). The excitement could not be contained by these journalists as they received their financial assistance to develop their children centred stories. We are looking forward to their stories and revealing the winner of the 2019 Isu Elihle awards early 2020!


If you missed out Watch the full event here!