The first day of school offers a chance for everyone to share the excitement and overexcitement of the day. Generally, it is a good photo op for newspaper journalists. This year we appreciated the coverage of the Daily Sun, which took a bit of a different angle and looked at a matric class that started early to get the best marks possible. This is our glad nomination.
The story, printed on the 14th January (Daily Sun, p. 3), showed the initiative of the children and the good work of the school. Unlike some stories, which didn’t quote children on their first day of school, the Daily Sun piece, by Sabelo Mpana, quotes one of the children who is making this sacrifice to achieve better marks. The piece also quotes a parent and the principle.
The convention in news stories is not to quote children, even when they are affected1. Also, it is rare to see a story that showcases the initiative of children. Media Monitoring Africa says “Well done, Daily Sun”.
1 Media Monitoring Project. 2004. “Children: Dying to make the news. An analysis of children’s coverage in the South African news media” Media Monitoring Project.