Grade 6 pupil Sukoluhle Ndlovu has made a list of demands for South African journalists, which includes a fair representation of children in media.
Ndlovu joined Joanne Joseph on the Afternoon Drive to share her top five demands.
She has especially requested that media and adults take children seriously and include the voices of young boys and girls in the country's rural areas.
We want to see more positive stories about education, sports, health, culture, arts and less stories about negative topics such as rape, abuse, crime and media. We are not denying that bad things happen to children but we don't want to see more of them in the media.— Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Grade 6 pupil
We demand that media focus on children from all provinces, especially the rural area...— Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Grade 6 pupil
Usually, when we see stories in the media, it is mostly about girls because girls are seen as powerless victims and we don't often focus enough on males, we are all just as equal.— Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Grade 6 pupil
She adds that journalists should consider asking for their side of the story. She says sometimes journalists often do not get the consent of a child.
Sometimes journalists make stories out of nothing, without getting the consent of the child or thinking about how the child feels. Like maybe they still feel traumatised about the whole event, they go around asking about the story without thinking about the child.— Sukoluhle Ndlovu, Grade 6 pupil
Speaking on the statistics around children representation in the media, legal adviser and coordinator of Reporting on Children in the Media course at Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), Taryn Hinton, says Ndlovu encapsulates why children's voices should be incorporated in the media.
Hinton says while children constitute 35% of South Africa's population, only 10.6% of publication stories are about children.
As Sokuluhle says, if we are engaging in a more positive light it becomes substantially easier to get children's voices into stories, to get children to participate.— Taryn Hinton, Legal adviser and coordinator of Reporting on Children in the Media course - MMA
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