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MISA awards journalists for excellence in reporting on children’s rights

Friday 11 December 2015, by SIGNIS

Windhoek, Brussels, December 11th, 2015 (SIGNIS/All Africa/MISA). Nina Oosthuizen and Candice Nolan from South Africa, and Buttler Nhepure from Zimbabwe, were awarded for their exceptional work in covering children’s issues at the MISA (Media Institute of Southern Africa) Regional Children’s Reporting Awards held in Lusaka, Zambia on 5 December 2015.

Oosthuizen won the Print Feature Category for her article on a 14-year old’s blanket run for vulnerable animals during winter. Judges noted that Oosthuizen’s article placed a child in an empowered position, highlighting that they children too can be leaders and change-makers. Candice Nolan won the Radio News Category for her story on the challenges faced by orphaned refugees in South Africa. Judges noted that Nolan’s story gave voice to children who are almost never heard or seen in mainstream news. Buttler Nhepure won the Radio Documentary Category for his exposé on child brides in Zimbabwe. Judges noted that his work is brilliant and that it adhered to all the ethical guidelines on reporting on children.

The awards form part of the Children & the Media Project, which is a partnership between MISA, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA), and the Media Network on Child Rights and Development (MNCRD), funded by Save the Children International.
Speaking at the event MISA Regional Director Zoé Titus, noted that MISA’s vision is of a southern African region where all people - men, women and children - are free to express themselves through any media of their choice without fear of recrimination. She noted that MISA’s strategy in working with children since 2009, is based on two parallel interventions; firstly to develop the capacity of journalists to report from a base of knowledge and advocacy on child rights issues, and secondly to assist children to produce their own media for self-advocacy.

The awards ceremony was preceded by a one-day workshop where children from Zambia, Namibia, South Africa and Lesotho developed a strategy on how best to engage the media for improved reporting on children’s issues.

MISA strives to build the capacity of the media in southern Africa to report positively, informatively and from a base of knowledge and advocacy on child rights issues. This is particularly important in southern Africa where more than 50 percent of the population in many countries is below the age of 18, increasing the importance placed on the youth vote, both regionally and internationally.

MISA is a regional non-governmental organisation with members in 11 of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) countries. Officially launched in September 1992, MISA focuses primarily on the need to promote free, independent and pluralistic media, as envisaged in the 1991 Windhoek Declaration.

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