Media monitoring Africa (MMA) is proud to award Daily News a GLAD [1]for including a child’s voice in one of their articles, “Children have a right to have their views heard on matters that affect them, so try and include them”[2]. Children, with their unique perspectives, deserve to be actively engaged in discussions about issues impacting them. It is crucial to respect their right to express views, ensuring their voices are considered. Encouraging their inclusion in relevant conversations fosters a more inclusive and democratic environment for their growth and development.

 The story, ‘World Read Aloud Day celebrated as fun and ‘the ladder to success’, (08/02/2024), written by Phindile Nqumako is about a school celebrating World Read Aloud Day. School children from Windy Heights Primary School foundation phase observed, while listening to their educator reading them a story titled, The Lost Cat. The parents are also encouraged to read to their children at home.

In 2023, research showed that Grade 4 learners in South Africa had the worst reading ability in the world, with 81%[3] unable to read for meaning. So, this day was very important for the school. The school’s Principal wanted to celebrate the day because she recognised the importance of reading in South Africa.

MMA is pleased with the journalist’s efforts to focus the article around the two children, ensuring they become the focal point of the story and incorporating their voices into the narrative. “Reading is very special and important because you cannot go anywhere without knowing how to read,” said a grade 7 pupil. Another learner added that “reading is important “because it is the ladder to success”. Valuing their voices not only respects their rights but also encourages them to be active citizens.

We look forward to reading more of such stories that indicate and make it clear the importance of involving children in stories that affect them. We encourage Daily News to continue to report on children’s stories, prioritising the well-being and best interests of the children.

Written by Kgothatso Baatile Mohale

Edited by Ntombifuthi Kubeka

[1] GLADs are awarded to media for responsible and ethical reporting on children