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Category: Race, Xenophobia and Ethnicity [REMOVE]

Reporting on Children - Is the coverage getting any better? Is there something to be glad about?

On the 17th of July 2012, MMA released two reports on the coverage of children in South African and Zambian media. While there are general improvements in how children are represented in the media since 2003 when MMA started its research, the report findings show that some areas demand the attention of journalists and editors.

Somalia in Media Images: Battling Compassion Fatigue

Images of emaciated children have recently made their way into the media following the widely reported famine in Somalia. Media Monitoring Africa conducted an in-depth analysis into the visual portrayal of the famine and the underlying messages.

Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children in the Media

Media Monitoring Africa launched a new set of Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children in the Media on 19 October 2011 which also saw the commemoration of Black Wednesday and the 15th birthday celebrations for the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF).

The right to express but not racially stereotype

Media Monitoring Africa condemns Sunday World demeaning ‘coloured woman’ and display sexism

January 2011: The month of multiple Children’s Rights Violations by SA Print Media

During the week 17th - 21st there were so many articles deserving of a MAD that MMA felt compelled to write MEGA MAD - citing articles in The Citizen, Daily Sun, Mail & Guardian, The New Age, Sowetan and The Star  for violating children’s rights.

This analysis has been endorsed by Childline and the Centre for Child Law

The Times identifies a child when it is not in his best interest

The article “High school in racism drama” published in The Times (03/08/2010p.7) is one to be mad about. It reported on an alleged theft case at a school where racism has occurred. In this story a child, who was accused of the crime, was identified.

City Press gives children a voice to challenge xenophobic attitudes

City Press gets a glad for its article “Learning in Peace” (08/08/2010, p. 14) about a school that works to ensure there’s no xenophobia in its classrooms.

The Citizen reinforces racial stereotypes

The Citizen’s article “World Cup blasts: toll tops 74” (The Citizen, 13/07/2010, p. 10) has given Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) many reasons to be mad. The report identified a child, used an extremely graphic photo of dead victims, and reinforced racial stereotypes.

Beeld inflames tense situation

Beeld’s article “Klag kom ná k-woord” (05/03/2010, p. 5), by Hilda Fourie and Sonja Carstens, violates children’s rights and sensationalises violence by children. The article revolves around a classroom fight, access to cell phone footage of which has been provided. It is not clear what journalistic purpose this serves and seems salacious.  The story identifies the children involved and the school they attend, while criminal charges have been laid. There is a race component to the story, yet insufficient care has been taken to minimise harm.

Children’s Views Not in the News: Portrayal of Children in South African Print Media 2009

Monitoring conducted by Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) in 2003 as part of the Empowering Children & the Media (ECM) strategy showed that only 6% of all news included children. The latest data to emerge from the ECM reveals that representation of children has improved, marginally, to 8.4% of all news monitored in 2009. The monitoring shows that not only are children’s issues frequently sidelined, but un-careful and unethical reporting often leads to further violations of their rights.

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