Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) applauds Daily Sun for publishing an article titled “Few open spaces in schools!” (15/01/2013, p.2) regarding lack of spaces in schools in Gauteng and Western Cape provinces.

The article written by Dulile Sowaga and Ntebatse Masipa is a nuanced piece that gives attention to an issue that is all too often neglected in the media and an issue that is perhaps oftentimes relegated to the back pages of the newspapers.

In the article, the journalists discuss in detail the problem of shortage of spaces in schools and attribute it to an influx of people from other provinces to industrialised provinces. They went further and gave broader implications of migration of people from poorer provinces to well resourced ones.

For a tabloid newspaper, the article does stand out as an issue driven story as opposed to an event based story.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA)’s research in recent years has shown that media rarely reports on children’s issues and even when they do majority of the reports lack depth, they are sensational or just plainly event based.1

It is only once in a while that one gets to read news reports that are well thought out and well researched. Such news reports inform and enlighten the readers on a particular issue of national importance, providing insight into the plight of children with greater context and explanation.

Daily Sun, in this case, has shown the ability to take up an issue of a marginalised group i.e. children and mainstreaming it by not only placing the article in a prominent page but also using two of its journalists, to investigate and compile information from experts and officials.

We encourage more reports of this nature from Daily Sun and other media.

In response to the commentary, Daily Sun’s journalist, Dulile Sowaga said:

“I think the commentary by George Kalu is fair and heart-warming, to say the least. Thank you for recognizing Daily Sun’s contribution.”

1.Media Monitoring Africa’s latest report on the coverage of children in the media showed that only 4 percent of the stories covered on children provided broader context. To see the complete report click here