• 1
  • 2
  • 3

Media Landscapes

Jun 14, 2017Mail & Guardian ANALYSISMedia links Gupta emails to the corrupted – it's not fake newsGlenda Daniels 13 Jun 2017 00:00   MEDIA MATTERS Be very clear about this fact, and it's fact, not fake: the reason some people (President Jacob Zuma's faction and the Gupta family) are asking for authentication of the leaked emails is they're playing for time. They hope they can set up a judicial commission of inquiry, which will be a sham. Even asking a stupid question such as Finance Minister Malusi Gigaba's: "How did they get the emails?" gives the game away – they…
Opinion in Mail & Guardian ​Fake news is undermining the work of journalists Glenda Daniels 01 Feb 2017 00:00 MEDIA MATTERS We are living in an era of increasingly narrow populist politics, corruption and inequality. It is also an age of social media banalities where everyone is a "publisher". In this mad matrix, the attacks on journalists are unprecedented, both internationally and locally. Journalists are being blamed for fake news. Certainly journalists can become pawns in the political faction fights within the ANC, and between the ruling party and opposition parties. Watch the ugly fake news increase in the run-up…
Written by Mich Atagana In the last decade there has been a significant boom in disruptive technologies and the media industry has been most hit by the disruption economy. The rise of the web, mobile devices and social media has changed the way audiences consume and interact with news and in turn the way news and stories are told. As the world and technology evolves so must the tools journalists use to tell stories. Journalists need to think differently about how they research the stories they tell, how they package their stories for an ever evolving audience and the best…
ICTs continue to attract policy attention, including being referenced in the UN’s new Sustainable Development Goals, and for good reason. They offer enormous benefits to humankind, although there are also risks that need to be addressed. So what are they? The acronym ICTs can cover lots of things. In some contexts, it includes broadcasting; in others it is shorthand for the Internet (but not cellular telephony).  It spans lots of hardware types, for sending, storing or receiving data, and even more software systems which set the hardware in motion. Think a broadcast tower, a Wifi router, a cellphone, a TV…
The high cost of data, digital literacy and old technology on mobile phones continue to hamper the closing of the digital divide on the African continent. A new discussion about the digital divide is needed to address urban/rural divisions, so that, when we talk of closing the gap due to widespread use of mobile we need to look closely at what kind of access marginalized groups have.It was not long ago that the words "digital divide" featured as part of any discussion about new technologies. But with the fading newness of these technologies and their ubiquity, particularly of mobile phones,…
The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has rated Eritrea as the most repressive country in the world for press freedom and censorship. Coincidentally, it also has the lowest level of internet usage in the world – with mobile technology blocked by government. When one considers countries with some of the worst press conditions globally the predictable propaganda from North Korean broadcasters or the Salafist intolerance to religious debate in Saudi Arabia come to mind, so do China and Zimbabwe. Few, however, look to the small, relatively new African country Eritrea, as the most repressive. But an annual report, "Attacks on…
It is not surprising that editor of The Nation magazine, Bheki Makhubu has been jailed for his passionate defence of the right to free speech, with his magazine being pushed to the brink of closure – given Swaziland's fragile democracy. His case has attracted much interest across the small borders of Swaziland and around the world.For Swaziland's fragile democracy, Makhubu—incarcerated for more than ten months now—stood for something more than just an independent voice—he was the flickering light for press freedom. He was unafraid to speak truth to power, representing hope for the future of independent journalism.Although the editor of…
Mark van der Velden former editor of Sapa tells the story of the country's longest news organisation's demise The sad closure at the end of March 2015 of the South African Press Association (Sapa) wire service, the county's oldest news agency, was inevitable.And there's little doubt it was written on Member-owners' boardroom walls long before it was spelled out at the wire service itself.The decision to seal the pipe on millions of newswire stories over 76 years of SA's history was not due to a failure of effort by staffers, who in the last years added gritty new layers to…
Why don't most South Africans use the Internet? The most common answers, if you ask them, are: a lack of access (to devices like computers or smart phones, and to networks that you need to connect), not knowing how to use the Internet and the costs of using it . Even amongst those who do go online, research shows that for those on low incomes, the Internet, for them is a rationed resource offering something far less than the all-encompassing network of information, communication and entertainment that richer users have at their fingertips. Instant messaging using tools such as WhatsApp…
For a few months after the February 2011 revolution, Egyptian media gained a taste of freedom. This has since been clawed back by the military government, leaving journalists worse off than they were under the Mubarak regime. Between outright censorship through direct threats of jail time and indirect threats leading to self-censorship, there is now little space left for independent journalism. You probably know about Peter Greste – the Australian Al Jazeera journalist who was arrested in late 2013 and spent 400 days in jail in Egypt on trumped-up charges. Greste was deported from Egypt in February this year –…
Join us for the next Media Menell Xchange (MMX) conference Tanya Pampalone discusses the upcoming MMX conference in June in Johannesburg and explains how it is fast becoming a fixture in SA's media landscape It wasn't long after mining executive Clive Menell died that his family decided to honor him in a way befitting the man.His daughter, Mary Menell Zients, remembers how, in the sixties and seventies, her parents' home in Parktown North was a gathering place for people around the country from different political, socio-economic and racial backgrounds. They were there to discuss, among other things in the South…
Ntombi Mbadlanyana discusses the failure of media, government, civil society and women themselves. The 8th of March is International Women's Day, a day that celebrates the economic, social political achievements of women globally. We also use this day as a time to reflect on the many but sometimes fragile gains made by ordinary women. This day is also used as a time to reflect on gains made by ordinary women. But the day came and went, with hardly a mention in the South African media.The day is often commemorated with themes designated by the United Nations. The theme for this…
The first year of the new Press Council in South Africa: Utopia and Hard Lessons When I'm alone and imagine my ideal society, I see a world where every individual is free to express himself or herself without any fear. In this way society will get the best ideas and implement them for the good of all. The bad ideas, the wrong ideas, will naturally sink to the bottom, while the best will float to the top. We will not fear the thoughts of individuals, whatever they may be; society will be mature enough to sift the good from the…
The relationship between government and the media is one characterized by tension. It's like a foxtrot and tango, sometimes awkward, but one where the two must work together. This relationship in South Africa is on the decline, with the introduction of the Protection of State Information Bill otherwise known as the 'secrecy bill' and other policies which have resulted in the media's opinion that there is not enough press freedom in South Africa. According to the Reporters without Borders (RSF) - Index of Press freedom, South Africa ranks fifty two out of a hundred and seventy nine countries within the…
The Right2Know (R2K) Campaign held its fifth annual National Summit in February, in Johannesburg, bringing activists and representatives of community organisations from around South Africa together to set a programme of action for the following year - to oppose secrecy. R2K officially launched in August of 2010, in a direct response to what is now called the Protection of State Information Bill (POSIB), dubbed the Secrecy bill, as a coalition of persons and organisations who were collectively concerned at the draconian nature of this bill before Parliament. In the earliest days of the campaign, ANC MP Luwellyn Landers, who sat…
Gill Moodie raises the many unanswered questions related to the demise of the South African Press Agency (Sapa) and describes the three new ventures that will take its place. The demise of Sapa was a long time coming but still, it took all in the media world by surprise.After 76 years the independent not-for-profit Sapa announced in February this year that it could not find a way out of a long-running funding impasse and would shut up shop on March 31st. However, in fact as far back as last year (State of the Newsroom SA 2014 http://www.journalism.co.za/stateofnewsroom/) Sapa declared that…
If we are talking the SABC, it is usually bad news. It is 2015 and January isn't out yet but the latest story to hit the media is Minister of Communications, Faith Muthambi's alleged interference in Board affairs including her threatening to remove board members It seems (but no official reasons given) that this is what led to the sudden resignation of board member and corporate governance stalwart Prof Bongani Khumalo. We have been here before... Ministerial interference. The never ending resignation of Board members, three since the new Board took office in 2013.So what is to be done with…
I may have thought it exciting when younger, but I didn't want to stand at a State of the Nation address holding a Samsung phone aloft and shouting #bringbackthesignal?Doing so in February with colleagues in the media benches in Parliament was a moment of profound discomfort, especially when the chant was taken up by some members of Parliament in the opposition benches.And, especially when the ANC benches erupted in an opposing chorus of "ANC. ANC. ANC" which is what the party does when it readies for victory. Or war. It was not easy because the media must be seen and…

Follow us on Twitter