CISA Invites you to a seminar:
The media wars and their discourses in the South African print media'
Mellon Graduate Fellow
In post-colonial, post-apartheid South Africa, "media wars" appear to have become a strong feature. Traditionally, the news media rarely report about another media. Interestingly, media wars seem to manifest themselves more when news publications subject each other to critical scrutiny. Recent media wars between newspaper companies and editors have highlighted the agonistic pluralist nature of the South African print media which is facing persistent and complex disruptions. This research asserts that a notable feature of these media fights is that they are linked to the battle to gain market share in South Africa print media market stranglehold by big media and are often couched in ideological discourses which are constitutive of editors and media owners speaking out publicly about issues internal to the media in order to carry the freight of public attention. The foci of this study will be two-fold: First, it seeks to investigate whether these media wars are related to the broader issues of transformation in the South African print media. Second, the study seeks to unravel how some of the country's leading news publications represent their competitors using editorial platforms and will investigate the editorial motivations behind certain representations. Despite the growing interest in media wars, South Africa is still represented by lack of literature published in the field. The main rationale behind the study is to show how the issue of media's 'independence' from political parties plays itself out in the ideological discourses during the tensions between newspaper companies and editors in the period between 2010 and 2015. Two examples or case studies of media fights will be critically examined in this study and a qualitative discourse analysis will be undertaken In order explore ways in which the media war texts spoke to or problematised the main theories employed in this study, namely: Critical Political Economy (CPE) and Michel Foucault's material post-structuralism blended with Bourdieu's concept of the 'media field'.
Keywords: media wars, agonistic media space, market share, ideological discourses, transformation, representations.
Date: Thursday 9 March 2017
Time: 2.00 pm
Venue: CISA Committee Room