About Bona Bana

Bona Bana is an interactive tool that identifies media trends, gaps and strengths on child reporting and links and compares these to the reality of children in South Africa. This is what the website also allows you to do:

Find facts: Find information on how children are portrayed in South African media. As well as up to date children’s views on current affairs issues and their feelings on how the media portrays them.
Engage and explore: You will be able to engage with the data. Our graphs are created in such way that you will be able to draw your own comparisons and gauge how an individual selected media is fairing against others.
Get context: Gain insights into the status of children on the ground and how the media is communicating this.

Media Coverage Ratings

This gives an indication of how each media house is doing in terms of coverage of children. With the media coverage ratings you can see the performance of media’s coverage of children as a whole and you can also compare individual news media to each other.

A total of 18 mediums were monitored. MMA’s Media Rating System (MRS) was applied in assessing media’s performance such as the number of children’s stories covered by the media, the voices amplified in the media and other elements.

Due to the intricate nature of news analysis, the ratings were divided into five categories, namely: Rights Respected, Voices Heard, Depth of Information, Diversity of Coverage and Overall Rating. The first four rating categories were combined to give the overall rating.

The four key areas and overall rating used to rate media performance are as follows:

  • Voices heard: Was the reporting credible and well sourced, or who was in the news?
  • Rights respected: Did journalists follow recognised and accepted ethical standards, or how ethical was the coverage?
  • Diversity of coverage: Did media cover diverse key events and issues, diverse regions and topics?
  • Depth of information: What information was provided in the coverage? Are aspects such as Issues raised, causes, background information (context), relevant legislation as well as solutions considered by the media?
  • Overall rating

At the end of analysis the overall rating was applied to get the best-performing medium. The overall rating is determined by an algorithm that weighs up the rating scores (also known as T-Score) from the four categories in order to find the best performing media.

Top Findings

This section presents our latest key findings on how children are portrayed in the media.






Children’s views

Do you want to know what children think on current affairs issues? Click here for short videos of children commenting on what has been happening in the news.

Gap Finder

With the gap finder we reveal the gaps in media coverage of children’s stories. You can also find geographic areas and children’s issues that are not being covered.

Bona Bana


This offers in-depth commentary and analysis on news coverage of children and issues that affect them. The aim is to raise awareness and improve the representation of children in South African media.

Wazi Children



UNICEF works towards zero children going hungry, or dying from preventable causes. We strive for a South Africa in which no child suffers abuse or exploitation. Improving the quality of education and health care are priorities.

Save the Children

SAVE fight for the rights of children. The right to life, to food and clean water, to education and protection. We believe that every child should get the chance to fulfil their potential. We help the poorest children get a better start in life, to grow up, to receive a quality education and to follow their dreams.

Children’s Institute

Children’s Institute takes the best interests of the child into account and is aimed at ensuring that children are given primary consideration by society. In particular, the Institute pays special attention to promoting children’s participation in its work, and advocates for their voices to be heard in decisions affecting their lives.


Amnesty International is a worldwide movement of people who campaign for internationally recognized human rights. AI’s vision is of a world in which every person enjoys all of the human rights enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other international human rights standards.

Media Monitoring Africa

Media Monitoring Africa is a non-profit organisation that promotes democracy and cultures where media and the powerful respect human rights and encourage a just and fair society. MMA acts in a watchdog role to promote ethical and fair journalism that supports human rights.


Childline is an effective non-profit organization that works collectively to protect children from all forms of violence and to create a culture of children’s rights in South Africa.

Centre for Child Law

The Centre contributes towards establishing and promoting the best interests of children in our community through education, research, advocacy and litigation.

MMA’s Empowering Children & the Media Website

MMA’s Empowering Children and the Media Website

Children project aims to improve the portrayal and active participation of children in the news media.


Bona Bana

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