Celebrating children’s achievements and allowing them to tell their own stories is something that the media rarely do. This is why when they do, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) applauds them. For its article which celebrates a 15-year-old girl’s success by telling her story and interviewing her, The Star is being awarded a GLAD.[1]

The article titled, “Child author elected into Joburg Student Council Executive” (26/05/2022) by Chulumanco Mahamba  reports on Stacey Fru, a child who was recently chosen as Junior MMC for Community Development in the City of Johannesburg Student Council for the next two years. According to the story, Fru’s achievements started at the age of seven when she published her first book. The story also reports that the child is already working with communities under her Stacey Fru Foundation and that she has held other important positions in the past such as being the director at AfroStory.

Fru is quoted in the article saying, “I am excited that as an activist this opportunity fulfils my dreams of working with the government to uplift African children.”

The journalist reports on her story in a way that places great emphasis on the child by outlining her achievements as a writer and activist as well as her contribution towards encouraging literacy and uplifting the status of African children. Two bright pictures of Fru accompany the story.

MMA’s 2021[2] media monitoring results on reporting on children reveal that only 7% of children’s voices were heard between May and September 2021 in media coverage of them.  This does not only violate children’s rights to freedom of speech and participation but also perpetuates the stereotype that children are not important enough to be heard.

It is for this reason that MMA awards this story a GLAD because the journalist challenges the pattern of not including children’s voices in coverage. We encourage The Star to continue to access children’s views in media coverage if it is in the best interest of the children. Well done!

Written by Girlie Sibanda

Edited by Lister Namumba

[1] GLADs are awarded to media for reporting on children positively and for accessing them

[2] https://mediamonitoringafrica.org/wordpress22/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/Childrens-Report-2021.pdf