News24 gives young agricultural protégé the chance to shine.

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) awards a GLAD[1] to News24 for promoting the best interest of the child in their journalism. The article published on national youth day titled, Meet the 12-year-old ‘farmer’, who is already planting seeds to tackle food insecurity”, (16/06/2023) by Na’ilah Ebrahim. The article shines a light on the story of agricultural protégé Fred Maccarthy, a 12-year-old boy from the North West province who has actualized his dream of becoming a farmer by starting an agricultural company that aims to raise awareness about the agrarian industry and capacitate other children with farming skills.  

The story highlights how Fred, through the support of his parents, has received plaudits for his efforts from multinational corporations for his projects, and interviews him for his thoughts and aspirations for his budding business. The article is accompanied by beautiful images that show Fred ‘getting his hands dirty’ and beaming alongside his parents after receiving industry recognition.

MMA applauds News24 for promoting the principles of responsible journalism by accessing the voice of the child in a matter that has direct consequences on their well-being. By affording children the opportunity to participate in the journalist process, the reporter advances the ideals set out in Section 28.2 of the Bill of Rights[2] which states that, “a child’s best interests are of paramount importance in every matter concerning the child.” Article 12[3] of the UNCRC further underlies this principle by stating that children have the indelible right to have their views taken accounted for in any matter affecting them.

2023 marks two decades of work by MMA in promoting the rights of children in the media. Using a collaborative multistakeholder approach, the organization has initiated a glut of projects which seek to advance the rights of children in the media such as the Reporting on Children in the Media Course[4], the Isu Elihle Awards[5], The Web Rangers[6] programme and MADOAT[7] to name a few. MMA therefore celebrates all journalistic endeavors that seek to show the child not merely as passive victims, but as active participants in the democratic process.

MMA hopes that News24 continues to report on all matters involving the child in a considerate and ethical fashion that fulfills children’s right to participation in all matters affecting them.

Written by Tumelo Hlaka

Edited by Ntombifuthi Kubeka