An article published on Daily’s Sun’s website has earned the publication a MAD[1] from Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) for including a picture of a child with a man who are both naked in a shower.

The article, “TEACHER AND PUPIL’S NAKED SHOWER SELFIES!” (Daily Sun online, 04/02/2019) reports on an incident where photographs of a teacher with his 15-year-old pupil in a shower have gone viral online and have been shared to pupils at the school where the child goes. It is reported that the teacher sent the photographs to a friend via Whatsapp and these images were then shared by the friend to other Whatsapp groups. One of these pictures accompanies the story on the website.

Even though the article has blurred the face of the child and the man she is pictured with, the fact that the child is naked with effort on her part to cover up her privates, is of great concern. MMA is MAD that Daily Sun is using a sexualised image of a child which MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media[2] advise against.

While we greatly commend Daily Sun for withholding the child’s identity and blurring her face, we cannot ignore the fact sharing the image violates Section 8.2 of the Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African Print and Online Media,[3] to which Daily Sun subscribes.

The Section advises media against publishing child sex abuse material (child pornography). It goes on to define child pornography according to the Film and Publications Act as, “Any visual image or any description of a person, real or simulated, however created, who is or who is depicted or described as being, under the age of 18 years, explicitly depicting such a person who is or who is being depicted as engaged or participating in sexual conduct; engaged in an explicit display of genitals; participating in or assisting another person to participate in sexual conduct which, judged within context, has as its predominant objective purpose, the stimulation of sexual arousal in its target audience or showing or describing the body or parts of the body of the person in a manner or circumstance which, in context, amounts to sexual exploitation.”

Since this child is an alleged victim of rape, MMA fears that using this image might make people think the child is “immoral” as suggests the study called Cute Little Things: The Objectification of Prepubescent Girls. The study found that people who viewed sexualised images of children rated [the children] as less intelligent and less moral.[4]

Simply, using this image might make people think the child was deserving of the sexual abuse by the teacher.

MMA requests Daily Sun to withdraw the photograph from the article on the website and in its place advise its readers against sharing the image as it is illegal.

We look forward to engaging with Daily Sun on this and more matters concerning coverage of children in the media.


By Lister Namumba



[1] A MAD is given when media irresponsibly report on children


[2] (See page 5)