Are media owners killing our journalism?
Eusebius McKasier invited Sipho Hlongwane, Professor Christi van der Westhuizen and Ayabulela Poro to try and answer this question and also attempt to get to the bottom of the role of the media and how it can be contaminated by commercial and other interests.
It's very important that we self examine as the media is extremely influential in society and the world over says McKaiser.
Former journalist, Professor Christi van der Westhuizen, says ownership in the media and knowing who owns which news outlet is important.
You can easily see what interests are represented with each radio station or newspaper by looking at the content. And that will give you a good sense of who the owners are.— Professor Christi van der Westhuizen, former journalist
Knowing who owns the media is important for audiences because it helps them hold media owners to account explains Ayabulela Poro, head of Children's News Agency at Media Monitoring Africa,
Van der Westhuizen mentioned media agencies during the apartheid era used to influence not only journalists but also content and pursue specific agendas as an example. She adds that with content, the agenda was changed, particularly with Afrikaans run newspapers during South Africa's transition from apartheid to democracy.
We don't write what we like. We might think that we do but we don't.— Sipho Hlongwane, Huffington Post SA blogs editor,
Hlongwane says he's very aware of his position in the media to add a contrary voice compared to what is being portrayed and conveyed in the media. Hlongwane goes on to say that journalists need to question their roles in the newsroom by asking themselves why they are there; is it because of their views or because they write in a way that influences views.
Listen to the riveting discussion here: