Daily Sun’s “Child author shares big ideas” (25/05/2018, p.3) has been awarded a GLAD[1] by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) for focusing on and interviewing a child author.

The article reports on nine-year-old Michelle Nkamankeng who was set to launch her second book titled, The Little Girl Who Believes in Herself, at the Market Theatre in JohannesburgAccording to the article, Michelle’s first book was published in 2016 and she is now among the top 10 youngest authors in the world.

In the article the journalist did not only focus on the child’s achievement but accessed her on how she felt about launching the book. The young author is quoted saying, “I’m really excited about my book. It has finally been published. It has been waiting since I wrote it when I was six”.

The article also mentions how Michelle set up the Michelle Nkamankeng Foundation to promote literacy, education and child activism. The nine-year-old also spoke about her hopes in the piece, “It feels really special to be able to share it with other children three years later. I hope everyone leaves feeling inspired and that other children can also make their dreams come true by believing in themselves.”

MMA often sees a lot of missed opportunities in the media[2] when it comes to reporting on children. These are instances where while reporting on children’s achievements, journalists mainly focus on adults who may be mentoring a child such as a teacher, coach or parent but crucially fail to give the actual child a voice. Daily Sun’s reporting therefore stands out as it gives audiences the opportunity to hear the child’s views on her achievements and adopts a child-centred approach to the story promoting the child’s right to participation.

Not only is this kind of reporting empowering for other young girls, it has the potential to make other children not limit themselves and believe that they too can achieve anything.

MMA therefore encourages Daily Sun to continue to write such articles and portray children in this light.

We hope to see more of such articles in the future.

By Msizi Mzolo

[1] A GLAD refers to an article where the rights and welfare of children have been promoted.

[2]See MMA’s Analyses on missed opportunities in the media:

Daily Sun responded to the commentary on 07/06/2018 saying: 

“Thank you.”