This picture, “Wheelbarrow of wonder”, by Daily Sun(25/07/08, p. 5)is something to be glad of. It shows two children playing happily with a broken wheelbarrow. This is commendable practice for Daily Sun as it shows children being playful as opposed to children being seen as victims of violence, poverty, HIV/Aids or neglect.
“Children’s views on the news”, a research project conducted by MMP (2004), revealed that media tends to represent children in disempowering roles, as victim or vulnerable children, such as orphans or street children, mostly as subjects of pity.
The children in the picture are represented as active and innovative, in that they do not allow their circumstances to stop them from having fun but make a plan and use what they have.
Research by the Media Monitoring Project (2006) together with children monitors, revealed that children like seeing positive stories and pictures about themselves. One of the children in the project commented, “I as a child hate hearing about bad stuff about us and not good stuff.”
This photograph is an example of how children can be represented positively, and MMP would like to see more of such examples.