Isu Elihle Awards

Rewarding Innovative journalism about children

Media Release

23 August 2019

Entries Are Open for Media Monitoring Africa’s Child-centred Journalism Awards

Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) invites journalists across Africa to enter the organisation’s Isu Elihle Awards and stand a chance to win ZAR 25 000.

MMA’s awards seek to give children a voice and highlight the status of children in our continent.   

Story ideas can be targeted at any mainstream news medium such as TV, Radio or Online. The top six story ideas will then be selected during an awards ceremony which will be held in October. The journalists behind these will each receive guaranteed financial support of ZAR 10 000. MMA will also offer support to the finalists to develop their concepts. The final stories will be ranked once they have been published or broadcasted, and the final cash prizes will be awarded: ZAR 25 000 (Overall Winner); ZAR 15 000 (2nd place); ZAR 10 000 (Third Place). 

Applications for this year’s awards open today (23 August 2019 ) and will close at midnight on 23 September 2019 

More About Isu Elihle Awards:

Isu Elihle: isiZulu meaning “Great Idea”

“Isu Elihle is isiZulu and could be translated into English as a beautiful, great or simply a neat solution… (The Awards) couldn’t have been conceived at a better time than this when the young are again asserting themselves through uprisings like #FeesMustFall and others…These awards also strike at many other stereotypes and seek to ignite a revolution in its own right.”  Joe Thloloe, Director in the South African Press Council.

The Isu Elihle Awards were launched in 2016, the awards seek to contribute to a change in attitudes and behaviours of opinion and decision-makers and citizens across the country and continent from the premise that the media frames debates in society and carries enormous influence and, therefore, ability to drive positive change.

The media can play an important role in protecting and promoting children’s rights and, in many instances, in exposing their abuses and triumphs. This is informed by the belief that children are not a homogenous group and deserve protection of their rights in all stages of their lives from early childhood development right up until they are legally considered to be adults.

However, satisfying the public’s right to hear stories about and affecting children, while at the same time respecting children’s rights to privacy and dignity, is a delicate and difficult balancing act. Along with ethical dilemmas of an extraordinarily complex and diverse nature, journalists who may attempt to report on children are often confronted with a myriad of challenges including:

  • A lack of resources, both time and technical means, to conduct adequate research for stories,
  • Challenging existing media methods for reporting on children, through investigative and fresh approaches to news practices,
  • Inherent views within newsrooms where children are seldom seen as target audiences for news media;

The Isu Elihle Awards therefore aim to encourage alternative thinking around reporting on children, and to contribute to an environment that enables journalists to expose and highlight issues affecting children in the country and the continent.

For more details, terms and conditions as well as the Application Form visit the Isu Eihle Award’s website

For enquiries please contact:

Girlie Sibanda 


George Kalu

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