Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) gives a Missed Opportunity[1] to Daily Sun for an article that completely fails to access children in a matter which has a direct impact on their education and on their safety at school.

The article titled, “School torched during protest!” (Daily Sun, 06/06/2022) reports on a protest in Mphatlalatsane village in Free State where angry villagers started a protest because the village has been without electricity for two weeks as a result of vandalism at the substation. The article further reports that while the protest was going on, alleged arsonists started a fire and torched four grade seven classrooms.

The burning of a school directly affects the children and their education. Therefore, the journalist should have included children’s views in the story. The children would have been able to not only exercise their right to speak about their concern about accessing education, but also on how they feel about safety in the now burnt school. 

Ignoring children’s voices when covering issues that affect them is a violation of their rights outlined in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child[2] (UNCRC) Article 13 and the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of Children[3] (ACRWC) Article 7. It is critical to mention that both were ratified by South Africa respectively in 1995 and 2000.

Furthermore, MMA’s 2021 media monitoring results[4] on reporting on children reveal that only 7% of children’s voices were heard between May and September 2021 in media coverage of them. Unfortunately, Daily Sun’s article furthers such a negative trend of children’s voices being ignored in the media.

We encourage Daily Sun to always include children’s voices when reporting on stories involving children especially when in the children’s best interests.

Written by Jacques Ndong

Edited by Lister Namumba

[1] A missed opportunity is a story in which children should have been accessed but were not.


[3] african_charter_on_rights_welfare_of_the_child.pdf