Published 13 February 2020, by Dr Iqbal Survé

This week in the media, and in many of our hearts, minds and homes, we have remembered the day that Nelson Mandela, the father of the new South African nation, became a free man after nearly 27 years of imprisonment. Thirty years on from this historic day, while much has changed, an awful lot has not.

A key element to shaping the narrative in those times (before, during, and now post) and how we respond to the happenings in the country is the media – the same element that has not undergone radical change to embrace the new democratic era.

Still by and large controlled by the same pro-apartheid conglomerates, South Africa’s mainstream media landscape is highly unusual in a post- revolution epoch, in as much as the incoming and current ruling party has not garnered a specific “media voice/outlet” where it can shape its own messaging. This is both admirable and possibly detrimental to the long-term survival of democracy in South Africa.

Admirable because the ANC upholds the country’s Constitution for a free, fair and diverse media sector. Detrimental because in the absence of a clear strong and dedicated voice for the masses – who missed out on being adequately represented in the pre-democratic era – the void has the potential to be filled by opposing forces.

Please read the full article here.