Given the increase in the number of child abuse stories on children in mainstream media in recent times, it was refreshing to read a positive article on a child, “A ball, a glove and a smile – Chiara’s away” (The New Age, 09/05/2012, p.7), selected as this week’s GLAD.1
The article focuses on Chiara, a 12-year-old winner of a women’s golf championship title and follows her journey to being a champion, portraying her in a positive manner. It describes how Chiara used to attend different sporting events with her father and how she finally fell in love with golf after being given a ball and a glove by a golfer identified as “the Goose” who also flashed her a smile – hence the headline of the story.
Chiara is also given a voice in the article and she is pictured holding her trophy. Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) commends The New Age in both regards as this kind of reporting is in line with MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media2 as recommended by the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF).
The guidelines state that “Children have a right to have their views heard on matters that affect them” and also encourage journalists to “avoid images that stereotype children.”
We look forward to similar reports by The New Age and encourage media in general to take a leaf out of its exemplary reporting.
1. Media Monitoring Africa highlights cases of good and best practice, where the media has promoted the rights and welfare of children, otherwise referred to as “GLADs”↩