Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Burnt on the stories of children

I heard a news report on 702 this morning (Officials to visit girl forced into prostitution 8/26/2008 7:46:43 AM) about cops in the North West investigating a case where a young girl is having to prostitute herself to raise money to support her and her brothers – all have been abandoned by their mother, who also is abusing the grant money owed to the children. The girl has to visit the local tavern to sell her body, sometimes for as little as R5.

My thought was… How is this news?

News as in novel, unique, out-of-the-norm. Of all the 7 snippets the news people choose to include in the morning report, what in any way makes this unique and “news” worthy. It is happening the nation round, on a regular basis, and in horrifying numbers.

If the radio station is going to report on girls selling their bodies for R5, parents “stealing” grant money from their children, children being left abandoned or orphaned and fending for themselves and their siblings, report it in NUMBERS. Not just that one girl in one place had this happen and so causing the public to think that this is an isolated incident.

Every single aspect of that story dredges up at least 10 other similar stories I know of involving South African children, including girls selling themselves (and even their parents selling them) to local men for as little as R5 in a Free State town – the primary clients being the local policemen.

Have I been abnormally exposed to so many similar cases that I almost “ho hum” at them? (And if so, how worried should I be about that!)

Is the news station grasping at stories?

Or is the general public really unaware of what is going on in terms of South African children’s lives?


Koekie said...

I think you make a good point. From a journo point of view, I can see why they chose the story, but you're right... it should make (and certainly has the right bloody elements to make) a good expose.

Anonymous said...

All of the above - it's becoming a culture of shame.

Anonymous said...

I think the south african community knows about this issue but they are too damn chicken, to do anything about it themsleves, they are just waiting for the government to FIX the PROBLEM. We have just grown into these unmistakabley LAZY nation who are just lazy to think and too busy to care or put anything into action. we forget that the gorvenment was made out of "people" just like us and that if "we" dont wake up and smell the coffee beans, then how the hell do we expect the poor government to be awake...(to do something constructive)??

-----JET LEE---back-by-popular-demand!