A South African first – children have their say


For the first time children will be making an oral submission to the Press Council in its current review process. The Press Council of South Africa starts the review of its system in its series of public hearings commencing on the 17 February 2011. According to the Press Council “the review is intended to help improve the quality of journalism in the country’.  This will also have an important spin-off effect on television programming.
Children from local schools work with Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) as part of its Children’s Media Monitoring Project (CMMP). These child media monitors, who keep a close eye on the media and do daily monitoring on its representation of children, will be giving their suggestions to the Press Council. This project gives children skills to critically read and analyse the media. Come and hear a child media monitor’s perspective on:

  • How the media depicts children;
  • What children would like to see more and less of, in the media;
  • Changes to the Press Code suggested by the children;
  • How the children feel when the media violates their rights.

MMA will also be making its submission to the Press Council directly after the children’s slot, and will give balanced views on the ongoing debates around calls for a Media Appeals Tribunal, poor and unethical reporting, accountability and regulation of the press.  The issues to be addressed include:

  • Why the Media Appeals Tribunal is a vindictive means to punish the crimes of the media;
  • Creative ways to address media transgressions;
  • How to bolster the independence of the Press Council so that it is not perceived as biased in favour of the media industry;
  • Ensuring that the Press Council operates within an informal, speedy, cost-effective, open & transparent process and system.

Thursday, 17 February 2011
Children’s oral submission:                                          09:00 am-09:30 am
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) Oral Submission:     09:30 am-10:30 am
Wits, East Campus, South West Engineering Building: The Graduate Centre Seminar Room, 1 Jan Smuts Avenue, Braamfontein


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