City Press puts interest of child first.

One of the basic tenets of ethical journalism is to always consider the best interest of children or a child when reporting on a story that involves them. It is for this commendable journalistic practice that week, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is delighted to award the GLAD[1] of the week to City Press for the article titled “Flashy businessman accused of being a ‘deadbeat’ father and ‘woman beater’”  (14/04/2024).

The article reports that popular businessman Lawrence Mulaudzi is being accused of neglecting his fatherly duties by an unnamed woman who he is said to have fathered a child with. The mother of the two-year-old child alleges that Mulaudzi leads a flashy and expensive lifestyle, whilst not financially supporting the child they have together.

The article continues with allegations from the unnamed women that Mulaudzi at some point physically assaulted her and told her that he had other children of whom he loved and took care of. It is further reported that there are allegations of extortion, and that a criminal case has since been opened by the unnamed 27-year-old mother of the child.

In reporting this story, the journalist – Nompumelelo Magagula – took the necessary and ethical step in reporting on or about children and concealed the identity of the child. They did this by not directly identifying the child in the article as well as by not indirectly identifying the child through the naming of the mother.

Additionally, the journalist also took it upon themselves to inform the reader of this ethical decision, writing early in the article that “the woman, who cannot be identified to protect the child’s identity” alerting them the concealing of the mother’s identity is to protect the child who is a subject in this on-going matter.

Withholding the child’s identity is in-line with recommended ethical principles and guidelines, including MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media.

The Guidelines stipulate that, “In all stories where identifying the child may cause harm, be sure to avoid indirect identification of the child through showing family, a school, residence, friends or a combination thereof.”[2]

MMA encourages City Press to continue reporting on children in an ethical and responsible manner and ensure that the best interest of the child is considered. Well done!

Written By Azola Dayile

Edited by Ntombifuthi Kubeka