Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) commends Sowetan for its article, “Terminally ill girls made to feel like queens” (Sowetan, 09/05/2011, p.3).
The article reported on how Miss South Africa 2011, Bokang Montjane, signed autographs and crowned young terminally ill girls as queens for a day as part of an initiative by the Reach for a Dream Foundation. According to the article, the foundation decided to host the event with the aim to reinforce how special and beautiful the young girls are. It also described how the event gave the young girls a chance to leave the hospital environment and to “forget their illnesses” – even if it was just for the day.
Sowetan receives the GLAD for accessing the children and portraying them in a positive and empowering light. “This has been a memorable day. I got pampered and made new friends. I also got to see Miss South Africa. I will never forget this day and will treat myself as a queen every day,” one of the children was quoted as saying.
Sowetan’s reporting is reflective of Avusa’s Guidelines with regard to reporting on children which state that: “We recognise that children have the right to have their voices heard and to participate in decisions affecting them.”
MMA also commends the newspaper for focusing on the positive aspects of the story and not the illnesses of the children being reported on.
We congratulate Sowetan for portraying these girls for the queens they are.
Sowetan journalist Nonkululeko Khumalo who wrote the article responded by saying:
“Thank you so much for recognizing the work that we do, we really appreciate it.”