Reporting Human Trafficking – Can Sensitivity and Accuracy Outsell Sensationalism?

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On the 3rd March 2011, an audience gathered at the Bioscope on Fox Street in Johannesburg for the first exclusive airing of the radio documentary “Human Trafficking and Child Protection: Is the Media telling the right(s) story”.

The documentary was produced by two child journalists Khuma Baduza & Khotso Zinhle for Media Monitoring Africa (MMA). It explored media’s coverage of trafficking around the world cup and uncovered harsh truths the, selling power of hysteria, the fickle nature of donor funding, inflated and unsubstantiated figures, the media’s pack mentality and perceptions that modern slavery needs to be sensationalised before we’ll care. They also helped unpack what human trafficking in South Africa actually looks like, and how this sits with the stories we were hearing in advance of the World Cup.

Among those attending this documentary launch were current and former police officers, government representatives, journalists, editors, academics, Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) employees and those working with trafficked victims.

Not only was this an opportunity for key stakeholders to experience an insightful piece of radio journalism, but it also provided a rare opportunity for a such a diverse range of influential parties to further discuss the issues it raised.

We’ve compiled a collection of the most thought provoking moments from the discussion that followed.

We hope that you find this report insightful and useful.

For more information please contact

Melanie Hamman,
Project Coordinator,
Tel: +27 (0) 11 788 1278
Email: melanieh@mma.org.za

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