|A student from 3 de Fevereiro Primary School in the village of Muediua, Maganja da Costa District, central province of Zambezia.|
By Amy Bennett
Earlier this month, Mozambique’s Child-Friendly Media Network launched its annual report on children in the media. The report, Children in the Media is the most comprehensive analysis on how the media are reporting on children’s rights in Mozambique, covering health and nutrition, education, protection and child participation issues.
“The media have a key role to play as advocates for child rights, said Executive Director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) Mozambique, Alfredo Libombo. “Regular reports monitoring the performance of the media are crucial to ensure more and better coverage of children’s issues.”
The report offers a quantitative and qualitative analysis of over 1,800 articles, editorials and photographs published in the media throughout the year, and makes recommendations to improve journalistic practice, including ethical aspects.
The report shows that education was the most recurrent theme in the media last year, accounting for about 40 per cent of the articles, followed by protection issues such as abuse, violence and trafficking (32 per cent), health and nutrition (15 per cent) and child participation (12 per cent).
The Child-Friendly Media Network is an initiative of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) in partnership with UNICEF. The network was created in 2007, and currently has over 300 registered members across the country. The network aims to promote quantitative and qualitative improvement of the news coverage on child rights and children’s issues in general.
“The network has laid the foundations for media professionals to create synergies, to unite their voice and take action, making the media a key partner in promoting and protecting children's rights in the country,” said Leila Pakkala, UNICEF Representative.
The network offers a range of resources and activities to its members, such as regular training courses, reference material on child rights, a support fund for journalists who want to cover under-reported stories in remote areas of the country, and a web site that provides a wealth of resources, such as story ideas, publications and guidelines to improve the way they cover children’s issues.
For more information on the Child-Friendly Media Network, visit www.recac.org.mz.