Media Release 

29 March 2022

JOHANNESBURG, 29 March 2022 – Since 2003, MMA has been monitoring the coverage of children in the media to check adherence to ethical and legal frameworks on reporting on children. Further, the monitoring has been to ascertain trends in coverage with particular focus on issues reported, whether children speak in this coverage as well as the quality of the coverage. Through analyses of the media’s coverage on children, MMA has been able to identify the successes and gaps and, has used the findings to advocate for better coverage while at the same time providing the media with recommendations on what can be improved.

Previous trends have shown that the media in South Africa more often than not failed to sufficiently adhere to ethical principles when reporting on children. This involved identifying children when the media was not supposed to in stories such as those where the children were victims, suspects or witnesses and, failing to give the children access when in the children’s best interest thereby infringing on their rights to freedom of expression.

Has there been an improvement in media’s coverage of children? This report presents findings from the 2021 monitoring activity in an effort to establish to what extent children’s rights are being promoted and protected by the media and, to analyse the portrayal of children in the media.

The 2021 findings will be compared to the 2020 findings where necessary in order to show improvement in media coverage or the lack thereof. Further, a question as to whether the Covid- 19 pandemic, the July 2021 unrest and the 2021 local government elections impacted how children were reported on in 2021 will be explored.


For further information, please contact:

Lister Namumba, Media Monitoring Africa, Tel: 011 7881278,

For more information about Media Monitoring Africa and its work visit

About the report: