Children and the media


For a better tomorrow in Lesotho, let’s all invest in children

For a better tomorrow in Lesotho, let’s all invest in children

MISA Lesotho, with the financial support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Lesotho, brings you the second edition of Children Speak Out – a special newspaper exclusively reporting about adolescents’ issues. The first edition was published in December 2019.

Last year’s edition of Children Speak Out was premised under the World Children’s Day celebrations themed For Every Child Every Right. The celebrations also marked 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30). The stories published in the newspaper were the result of a training of 30 adolescents on child rights and media. The 30 children were identified from seven districts of Lesotho and brought together under a programme, Children and the Media.

This year, Children Speak Out brings you a reflection of several months of difficult work amid the advent of the Coronavirus pandemic. In May, MISA Lesotho was faced with a mammoth task of introducing the first-ever technological platform for adolescents to voice their opinion in an organised manner never experienced in Lesotho before. Although U-Report was already operational in around 70 countries by May 2020, it was yet to be introduced and operationalized in Lesotho.

A copy of the newspaper is available to view below:

U-Report is a social media platform for adolescents to communicate issues of their concern with the aim of engaging authorities, especially policymakers. It is an initiative by UNICEF. MISA Lesotho is an implementing partner.

In May, amid the Covid-19 hard lockdown, MISA Lesotho was supposed to figure out how to engage over 700 young Basotho countrywide in a meaningful campaign to introduce U-Report Lesotho. Despite the prevailing state of affairs, MISA Lesotho had a target of visiting the ten districts and conduct workshops for young Basotho aged between 12 and 24 years. MISA Lesotho had a target of having a minimum of 3500 adolescents as regular users of U-Report Lesotho (U-Reporters) by May 2021.

To meet these targets, MISA Lesotho first identified two influential characters as the main drivers of U-Report Lesotho. Ayesha Khuele, an aspiring filmmaking student at the Limkokwing University of Creative Technology, and musician Sekonyela ‘Q-Real’ Qaitsane were confirmed U-Report Lesotho Ambassadors.  A team of Children in Media Ambassadors (those trained in previous years) was also organised to work hand-in-hand with the two U-Report Ambassadors.

Through productions of video and audio jingles, as well as rigorous use of both the mainstream media (radio, tv and newspaper) and new media (social media), the team was able to attract more than 400 young Basotho into becoming U-Reporters even before the district-to-district campaign events started in September 2020.

With the gradual relaxation of the lockdown restrictions, MISA Lesotho was able to begin district-to-district campaigns in September, starting with Maseru where 107 adolescents were classified and trained on U-Report at MISA Lesotho premises in Happy Villa.

Since then, the MISA Lesotho U-Report team has conducted campaign workshops in seven districts comprising Mafeteng, Berea, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, Butha-Buthe and Thaba-Tseka. A total of 562 young Basotho have received the training in the seven districts. More than 4000 adolescents are U-Reporters already.  The team is yet to visit and conduct workshops in Mokhotlong, Qacha’s Nek and Leribe in 2021.

On October 15th 2020, the MISA Lesotho U-Report team held a media workshop for 25 journalists in Maseru. The media practitioners were as well trained on U-Report, child rights, children and the media, as well as children and the use of the internet. Most stories in this publication are authored by journalists from this workshop, who has since committed to prioritizing children’s issues in their everyday reporting duty.

 

This edition of Children Speak Out celebrates the challenges and achievements in the narration above. Equally important, this edition commemorates World Children’s Day 2020 under the theme: Investing in our Future means Investing in our Children.

MISA Lesotho wishes to extend heartfelt gratitude to UNICEF Lesotho for supporting these children programmes over the years. Further appreciations are directed to the parents who were corporative enough to allow their children to participate in U-Report and World Children’s Day activities. MISA Lesotho cannot overlook school principals and teachers, district education officers and district administrators who committed to working harmoniously with the institute to make these programmes a success.

Lastly, but not least, are different media houses, most notably the community radio stations, that continue to contribute to the success of the projects of MISA Lesotho and UNICEF Lesotho.

Until we meet again, investing in our future means investing in our children!

Nkoale Oetsi Tšoana, MISA Lesotho Chairperson           


Children Speak Out Lesotho: News written for children by children

Children Speak Out Lesotho: News written for children by children

Between November and December 2019, the Media Institute of Southern Africa – Lesotho Chapter (MISA Lesotho) trained 30 children on media, child rights and how the children can use media platforms to discuss their issues of concern.

This was made possible with support of the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) Lesotho.

Named Children in Media, the programme was initiated to meaningfully celebrate the World Children’s Day (November 20) under this year’s theme: For Every Child Every Right. The celebrations also marked 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC30).

Strategically, MISA Lesotho trained 30 children to compliment CRC30.MISA Lesotho worked together with community radio stations, specifically Mose ho Seaka (Pheshakwe Qqili) of Quthing and Moeling of Botha-Bothe, to identify the children in Mafeteng, Mohale’s Hoek, Quthing, Berea, Leribe and Botha-Bothe.

It is important to note that the children are not only trained to become media professionals, but the long term goal is to unleash their leadership potential. The idea is for them to be exemplary and become ideal leaders in families, villages, schools and any other groups they are part of. The idea is to build and capacitate them over the years to instill confidence and a sense of responsibility in them.

So, things going right, we will engage the same children on the next training level save for those that will then be plus 18 years.

While this may look like it is a monopoly engineered for same group of children, MISA Lesotho undertakes to trim the group by exempting and causing graduation of those that reach 18 years to make way for new children into the group.

Already there are children who joined the programme from as far back as in 2012 in the group; today we regard them as ambassadors of Children in Media. The trained children have further committed to sharing the knowledge with others in the villages and schools.

Children Speak Out is a special publication meant to showcase part of what the children are capable of doing. It is the first, but hopefully no last, children’s newspaper aimed at focusing on issues of concern by the children, authored by the children and tailored for their consumption.

This edition comprises of 17 stories, excluding this editorial comment, developed by the children from ideas.

MISA Lesotho wishes to pass special thanks to UNICEF Lesotho for support of this programme. We wish to further thank all people that contributed to the success of the training. Until next time, for every child, every right!

Lekhetho Ntsukunyane,
Acting National Director


By: Kananelo Seboka

Children’s radio program on the use of social media rocks People’s Choice FM

The use of social media amongst children is a subject that is yet to receive attention in Lesotho. The Media Institute of Southern Africa, Lesotho chapter (MISA Lesotho) under Children in the Media project will on Saturday at 09:45am on People’s Choice FM broadcast a programme on the subject. The programme researched, developed and produced by children who are participants of children in the media project is an interactive discussion on issues such as;

  1. Challenges faced on social media; Cyber bullying, Addiction, Time Management, Emotional Suppression, Social Anxiety, Materialism.
  2. Alternative use of social media.
  3. Security measures on social media.

These topics were selected carefully by children in a view to raise awareness amongst their peers and parents. The programme will run for the second time following the 15 minutes programme aired on the same radio station last Saturday 17th March 2018.

The programme is one of the activities in a UNICEF supported project on continued World Children’s Day commemorated every 20th November each year another activity under the project children have conducted a research on the use of social media. The research covered pertinent issues facing children online in Lesotho in the district of Maseru, Mafeteng and Leribe. The study will be unveiled in the next few weeks at an event where children from schools and various organization in Maseru will be invited. Its is hoped that findings of the study will inform the development of children’s projects on varying subjects with regards to use of social media.

MISA Lesotho’s Children in the Media project has been going on since 2011. It started with Focus Group Discussions on coverage of the children media to inform development of some of on-going activities in the project. The Focus Group Discussions were video recorded and shared amongst children in the SADC region.

In 2014, children representing Lesotho, South Africa, Zambia and Namibia participated at the regional conference on Media Reporting on Children in the SADC region where MISA Lesotho was represented by Selloane Saka and Tumelo Mohapi. The project also comprises of production of media including publications produced at country, SADC region and international levels.

In Lesotho children produced Children’s Voice magazine with participating children including World Vision’s, Child Counseling Unit’s and MISA Lesotho’s. In Commemoration of 25th anniversary of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) together the children from these organizations produced a special edition of Children’s Voice magazine.

At regional level the children contributed some articles from Lesotho, South Africa, Namibia and Zambia to produce In The Zone regional children’s magazine. At international level the same children produced Junior Report.


Survey on Children’s Use of Social Media in Lesotho

Survey on Children’s Use of Social Media in Lesotho

With objective to inform development of programs to respond challenges around the use of social media amongst children in Lesotho, the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA Lesotho) is conducting a survey on the use of social media among children in Lesotho.

The project supported by UNICEF has covered the districts of Maseru, Mafeteng and Leribe with the exercise carried out by MISA Lesotho members of the Children in the Media Project who are children between 13-17 years drown from schools around Maseru. The survey started on Friday 26th January, 2018 and ends 02nd February, 2018.

The project is supported by UNICEF as continuous commemoration of World Children’s Day celebrated on the 20th November every year. The survey is set to find out behaviour on the use of social media is relation to their studies and other responsibilities children in the life. Other issues covered by the study are designed to find out level of awareness on cyber bullying.

The survey is part of line-dup activities including production of radio programmes and writing up of articles on news papers produced by children themselves deciding topics relating to children situation in Lesotho

The project will end in March, 2018.


Children In The Media

Children meet editors and journalist on fair reporting

Local editors and journalists with interest on children news met with children to discuss ways in which the media can best report kids stories.

Participants who are members of MISA Lesotho’s Children in Media project told editors and journalists that their issues are well covered.

“I don’t listen to local radio stations anymore because they are irrelevant to my life” so said Mokhali Shale a child participant at a breakfast meeting held in Maseru on the 14th December, 2017.

“All we need is training and parental guidance to conduct radio programmes.” So said another child Tlotliso Seakhoa, adding that as children they have a lot to say and parents should speak on their behalf.

The meeting was officiated by UNICEF Lesotho representative Dr. Nadi Albino and the Minister of Social Development, Matebatso Doti who ordered editors present to provide a clearly defined strategy on reporting children stories by 1st January, 2018.

The minister said the media is strategically positioned to help the government make informed decisions and policies in the implementation of Children’s Protection and Welfare Act of 2011. The Act’s section 14 guarantees Right of Opinion and the minister argues that it is only when the media provides enough space to children that the right will be enjoyed.

The meeting was organized by MISA Lesotho with a financial support of UNICEF Lesotho and is part of a series of activities that the gathered children will implement until March, 2018 in continued commemoration of World Children’s Day.

Upcoming event will be conducting of a mini survey on the Use of Social Media Among Children whose report will inform development of country wide project of the use of social media among children.

Children in the Media Project began in 2010 with children focus group discussion which led to magazine called Children’s Voice. Along with Children’s Voice magazine the children contributed articles to In the Zone newsletter which was a Southern African Development Community (SADC) region children publication with writers from Lesotho, Namibia, Zambia and South Africa.


Children in the Media Project. Here a child practicing interviewing skills

UNICEF and MISA Lesotho commemorate World Children’s Day

UNICEF Lesotho and the Media Institute of Southern Africa Lesotho chapter (MISA Lesotho) will commemorate World Children’s Day, 20th November, 2017 through implementation of Children in the Media Project.

The project comprises of the following activities which will be implemented until March 2018:

  • Research on the use of social media amongst children in Lesotho
  • Media production on children’s rights and responsibilities
  • Meeting of media managers, journalists and children

The project builds on a series of previous initiatives and activities, including:

  • holding a series of Focus Group Discussions on media and children in Lesotho in 2011
  • commemorating the 25th anniversary of Covenant of a Right of the Child with media production including Children’s Voice newsletter in collaboration with World Vision and Lesotho Child Counselling Unit
  • attending a regional Conference of Editors and Children in the SADC region in Namibia in 2014
  • training local journalists on reporting children stories
  • producing radio programs in commemoration of 70th anniversary of UNICEF in 2016
  • contributing to the production of In The Zone, an international newsletter on children and the media

It is hoped that project will contribute towards advocacy for conducive legislation on the use of social media by children in Lesotho while also providing children with a platform to freely express their views in matters affecting them.

Background to World Children’s Day

Every year, UNICEF celebrates the UN Universal Children’s Day on 20th November. This is the day when the most widely ratified human rights treaty in history, the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), was adopted in 1989. On this day, we celebrate the progress made for children, and we also take stock of what still needs to be done. It is also the day when we focus on Article 12 of the CRC that guarantees to all children and young people the right to freely express their views on all matters affecting them. Every child should feel respected and valued as a responsible, active citizen in a shared global community.

At the heart of the 2017 initiative is the idea of a ‘children’s takeover’ – UNICEF will be giving children across the world the opportunity to ‘take over’ high profile activities and events in media, politics, business, sports, schools, music and entertainment to raise awareness and funds for the most vulnerable and hardest to reach children.

“It’s a fun day with a serious point. A day for children by children to help save children’s lives, fight for their rights and help them fulfill their potential,” says Nadi Albino, UNICEF Representative, Lesotho.

For more information contact MISA Lesotho

Misalesotho@gmail.com

Malume Mohale, UNICEF Lesotho, +266 22315801/+266 58604840, mmohale@unicef.org

Note to editors:

For further information please visit: http://www.worldchildrensday.org/

About UNICEF

UNICEF works in some of the world’s toughest places, to reach the world’s most disadvantaged children. Across 190 countries and territories, we work for every child, everywhere, to build a better world for everyone. For more information about UNICEF and its work for children visit www.unicef.org.

Follow UNICEF on Twitter and Facebook


Children In The Media

Children in the media workshop, 12-13 Nov 2016

MISA Lesotho will hold a two-day Children in the Media workshop. It will introduce participants to democratic decision-making, advocacy and lobbying for children’s rights, and engaging the media to advocate for child-friendly media reportage.

The workshop will be held on Saturday the 12th and Sunday the 13th November 2016, from 0900hrs-1600hrs at MISA Lesotho premises, Happyvilla, House 1b, Maseru.

Workshop participants will be Children in the Media Child Ambassadors in Lesotho. The workshop is facilitated by an alumnus of the project from MISA Namibia, Emma Thoefelus.

The Children in the Media project has been running for the past six years with the aim of building the capacity of the media in southern Africa to report positively and informatively, and to form a base of knowledge and advocacy on child rights issues.

Children in the Media project is important in southern Africa where more than 50 percent of the population is below the age of 18 in many countries in the region. This increases the importance of the youth vote, both regionally and internationally.

With the Children in the Media, MISA Lesotho strives to create a safe space for the production of children’s media, sensitise journalists on child rights, and develop codes of ethics for reporting on children’s rights by promoting fair, honest and accurate reporting on the experience of childhood.

For further information:

Matselane Mosoaboli

Information and communication officer

MISA Lesotho

+266 2232 0941

misalesotho@gmail.com


MISA Lesotho launches editorial guidelines for reporting on children

MISA Lesotho launches editorial guidelines for reporting on children

In July 2015, MISA Lesotho launched the Editorial Guidelines and Principles on Reporting on Children at the Lehakoe Recreational Center in Maseru.

The launch was attended by the Minister of Communication, Science and Technology, Honorable Khotso Letsatsi, who delivered the keynote address and launched the guidelines.

On welcoming the guests, National Director of MISA Lesotho, Mr. Tsebo Mats’asa told attendees that the Editorial Guideline and Principles for Reporting on Children were developed with the input of children and media professionals and are intended to assist journalists and media practitioners to produce better quality reports on children, with greater understanding and whilst respecting children’s rights.

The guidelines were developed in line with Lesotho’s Child Protection and Welfare Act of 2011, the United National Convention on the Rights of the Child, and the Lesotho Constitution.

The guidelines explain how journalists should report on the children in the media. They include an ethical roadmap to assist journalists in the case of an ethical dilemma when reporting on children. They also guide media professionals on how to produce and present images on children. Of great importance is the emphasis placed on ensuring children’s voices and children’s participation in news production through informed consent.

MISA recognised the need for media in Southern Africa to report positively and informatively and with knowledge on children issues and child rights in line with UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Several years ago, MISA partnered with Save the Children International to create opportunities and safe spaces for the production of children’s media, sensitise journalists on child rights, develop codes of ethics for reporting on children’s issues and rights and promote fair, honest and accurate reporting on the experience of childhood

The editorial guidelines form part of MISA’s Children and Media Project funded by Save The Children International and the Swedish International Development cooperation Agency in partnership with Media Monitoring Africa in South Africa and MISA Lesotho.

This media strategy should therefore contribute to and build on the Reporting on Children’s issues and Child Rights project in Southern Africa as well as adding value to the work that MISA Lesotho and Save the Children Sweden are conducting in Botswana, Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

In MISA’s view and based on the organisation’s experience, media produced by children could become a formidable advocacy tool for children’s rights.  Media produced by children can influence the media and public opinion in the following ways:

  • Being in a format that media workers relate to, media produced by children will enable journalists to better understand issues affecting children (as expressed by children themselves).
  • This in turn, when discussed and facilitated by those responsible for advancing children’s rights, should influence media coverage of children and children’s rights issues through the development of codes of ethics, training, media regulation etc.
  • The media produced by children may also provide media with material for dissemination through their own media outlets, thereby raising awareness among mass media audiences of the rights and needs of children.

Furthermore, media produced by children can be used by organisations working with children to lobby decision makers. These lobbying efforts should be complimented by the mass media’s more sensitive and representative coverage of children and children’s issues, brought about by the earlier steps.

This approach could help change the stereotyped way in which the media tends to portray children, the coverage of children’s issues by the media, which is often non-reflective of the real and actual issues confronting children, and, the lack of spaces and opportunities for children to express their own voices through the media. Listening to children’s voices would help to address all the above.

Editors and journalists from both print and electronic media, civil society organisation’s that focus of children’s welfare; members of the United Nation International Children Fund (UNICEF), the Lesotho Counsel of Non-Government Organisation (LCN) and Lesotho Save The Children (LCS) were also present at the launch.

For more information, please contact:

Tsebo Mats’asa, National Director

MISA Lesotho

Tel: + 266 2232 0941

E-mail: misalesotho@gmail.com

MISA Lesotho


Children elect their 2015 – 2016 Child Ambassadors

Children elect their 2015 – 2016 Child Ambassadors

MISA hosted the 2015 elections of child ambassadors under its Children & the Media project simultaneously in Windhoek, Namibia, and Maseru, Lesotho on June 13, 2015.

Over 100 children and parents attended the elections, anxious to see who would be elected to the positions for the 2015 – 2016 period.

Prior to the elections children had an opportunity, through the on-going focus group discussions, to assess the skills of participating children and nominate their preferred candidate to stand for the official elections. Children nominated two individuals in each country that they felt confident would represent their interests at national and regional levels.

The elections got many of the children excited and nervous at the same time. Many of the nominees were very nervous and felt that they were not quite ready to give their campaign speech. Others were very confident in what they were going to say.

There were a total of fifteen contestants that ran for the four child ambassador positions. The newly elected Child Ambassadors of 2015-2016 are Selma Amwele (17), Ndapewa Johannes (17) from Namibia and Malehioa Chakatsa (12), Seeng Motselebane (12) from Lesotho.

The four ambassadors will be joined by the other elected ambassadors from Zambia and South Africa for a nine-day retreat which also includes a two-day meeting meeting with journalists and civil society representatives.

The aim of the media meeting is to explore how the relevant stakeholders can contribute to the implementation of the United Nations Human Rights Council resolution “Towards better investment in the rights of the child”, passed in March this year.