Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) congratulates Daily Sun for the article “Ahead of the pack” by Glacier Nkhwashu (30/04/09, p. 42) about a six-year old pupil who is a heroine and inspiration to kids in her township. The article is to be glad of because the child was portrayed as a heroine, and she was accessed for her story.
Daily Sun represented the child as active and innovative, in that she do not allow her circumstances to stop her from having fun but strives to be an international athlete using her talent. Daily Sun highlights the fact that she has already won numerous medals for her running achievements.
The newspaper gives her a voice to speak and says how her father is proud of her. He continues to encourage his child thus motivating her and other children to pursue their dreams.
The story breaks the trend in reporting on children which MMA has seen, whereby children, rarely the subject of news stories, are often featured as victims and/or are not given the opportunity to speak for themselves1.
In featuring children’s stories in this way, and providing positive role models, young people are encouraged to see how they too may excel or contribute to their communities.
1 See Daya, B., Vreenegoor, B., Bird, W. & Harries, G. 2004. Children: Dying to Make the News: An analysis of children’s coverage in the South African news media. Media Monitoring Project: Johannesburg.