Empowering Children in the Media

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Anyone under the age of 18 has the right to special care and assistance according to the UN Convention on the Rights of the ChildSouth African national laws also provide children with special protection. With good reason…

Society should put the well-being of children at its heart. Everyone should be concerned about their welfare and representation in the media.

However, often children and their rights are under-represented in the media and, when they do appear in the news, they are shown as victims. Their rights to privacy and dignity are often violated by the media, resulting in secondary trauma and, in many cases, contravening the standards which outline their basic human rights.

The MMA has undertaken a variety of projects which monitor the media to address this very specific challenge, and many of those who taken on the role of monitor are children themselves, sourced from various schools around Johannesburg. Take a look at some of our children’s reports and analysis pieces as these will give you greater insight into the work we have done, and the vital role we play.

We advocate for a child-centric approach to news reporting to ensure that the best interests of children remain top of everyone’s mind. Contact us to find out more.

Get Mad/Glad

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) created the Make Abuse Disappear Online Accountability Tool (MAD OAT) project. The goal is to raise awareness and improve the representation of child abuse in the South African media.

The project uses technology, a network of child abuse experts and a reference group of children to ensure that it remains as child-centric as possible.

When trying to help and support children, it is essential we consider their opinions and that we don’t marginalise them even further.

Our child reference group meets regularly to review published work and to submit letters to the relevant media and media authorities.

Every week, Media Monitoring Africa selects stories which violate or support children’s rights in the news and we write about their impact and give them their MAD or GLAD award. You can see a complete list of all our Mad/Glad selections in order of date published by clicking here.

Empowering Children and the Media

MMA’s research into Empowering Children and the Media found those child victims of abuse are identified in one out of every 10 stories on child abuse. It is a statistic which has to change.

View our flash application which examines the results of this research, children’s rights and children’s views on media coverage to gain even deeper insight into the challenges we face and how we are tackling them.

Research and Analysis