Media celebrates children’s achievements.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) awards a GLAD[1] to two publications namely City Press and The Star for positively reporting on children’s achievements and accessing them in the articles. The journalists, Zelda Venter and Janice Phiri are also commended for positive and empowering portrayal of the children involved.

The first article is titled, “Go-getter Hailey, 6, making jewellery fit for a princess” (27/03/2023), reports on a 6-year-old child, Hailey, from Theresa Park in Pretoria who started her own jewellery-making business with the assistance of her mother. The talented Hailey is said to love beadwork and she used this opportunity to make her own money. This story, written by Zelda Venter portrays the child as an active citizen who can be a source of inspiration to other children. 

The article also quotes Hailey at length, talking about her business and how she wants it to grow. In one instance, she is quoted saying, “Making jewellery is my passion, and one day, I want to become a full-fledged entrepreneur and own my business.” The article also comes with pictures of the child smiling and a picture of the jewellery she makes.

The second story by City Press titled, “15-year-old Kgopotso KJ Mononyane races towards his dreams” (02/04/22023) and written by Janice Phiri, reports on a 15-year-old child, Kgopotso KJ Mononyane, who will be living his dreams when he travels to Italy to compete at the motorcycle racing later this year. KJ is said to have started competing at the age of 12 years and has been winning competitions since then.

Similar to the first article, Kgopotso is fairly accessed to source his views on his achievement. He Is quoted saying, “I absolutely love sports, I can do all sports, but racing is my number one sport. This achievement is something that gets me so excited for the future, Italy is going to be epic.”

These articles serve as the best illustration of how to report on children’s accomplishments. Children need to be given a voice in the media so they may talk about their accomplishments from their own perspectives. This not only empowers the children but also enriches articles with children’s perspectives.

MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media[2] encourage journalists to access children and allow them to participate in the news especially when the article is about their achievements or when it is in their best interest to be accessed.

Well done to City Press and The Star for excellent reporting that celebrates children’s achievements. The articles have some of the elements of excellent reporting in that children are accessed and portrayed positively as active citizens with a sense of agency.

Written By Ntsako Manganyi

Edited by Ntombifuthi Kubeka

[1] A GLAD is awarded to media for reporting on children in a positive way.