The New Age gets a GLAD[1] from Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) for its article,  “Young author in line for award” (02/02/2018, p.5) for highlighting and celebrating the achievements of a 10-year-old published author.

The article by Shonisani Tshikalange, reports on Buhle Mthethwa, a grade five pupil from Mooifontein Primary School in Kempton Park who is set to receive the Girl Child Award from the Premier of Gauteng for her book. According to the article, Buhle launched her book titled “The Big Fat Naughty Cat” in 2017 and “is on a mission to instill a culture of reading among young people.”

The journalist quotes the young achiever saying,” I love reading and I want to share my passion with other children and encourage them to read and write from an early age.”

MMA commends the journalist and The New Age for the empowering portrayal of Buhle and for allowing her to inspire those reading the article to see that children can be achievers from an early age. The article focuses primarily on the child and her achievements and portrays her positively as an activist who is contributing to the improvement of literacy among young people especially after a report[2] quoted in the article shows that “78% of pupils in grade [four] are not able to read in any language.”

MMA’s Editorial Guidelines and Principles for Reporting on Children in the Media, advise reporters to always strive to “challenge negative stereotypes about children and conventional roles children occupy in the media (such as helpless victims) whenever [they] can. Negative stereotypes about children are particularly harmful to children and must be challenged where possible. Children’s achievements must also be given due recognition in the media.”[3]

MMA encourages The New Age to continue providing children with the space to shine   

We look forward to reading more of such articles.

By Ntsako Manganyi

[1] A GLAD refers to an article where the rights and welfare of children have been promoted

[2] 2016 Progress in International Reading Literacy study (PIRLS)

[3] Also see: