South Africa’s Path of Apartheid and Democracy Essay Example
South Africa’s Path of Apartheid and Democracy Essay Example

South Africa’s Path of Apartheid and Democracy Essay Example

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  • Pages: 5 (1188 words)
  • Published: March 2, 2022
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South africa has been through two very different systems of government the apartheid regime and democracy. during the apartheid era journalists had to keep social order with government intervention newspaper that did not agree with the governments views was not allowed to operate. the ruling government tried to control media in order to boost their own agenda. journalism was controlled completely by the government. journalists were not allowed to report about the apartheid state or anything that would reflect badly and decrease the support of the acting government. the government did not allow journalists to report news that did not uphold their values and aims and as a result there were certain topics that were banned from being reported such as violation of human rights. topics such as race were limited and were made out to focus more o


n the white citizens. in other words there was an unequal and unfair representation of black and white citizens an example would that the deaths of white people were substantially reported while the deaths of black people were treated trivially. radio and television were used to their advantage to spread propaganda to the listeners and viewers to encourage them to accept apartheid. the governments aim was to deprive the public of the basic right to information that would cripple the apartheid system.

However, despite all the restrictions there were journalists who tried to expose the truth risking their lives in the process. media such as sunday nation and freedom radio were some of the first to report on the dishonesty and cruelty of the apartheid regime. the way journalists reported during the apartheid era was directly influenced by

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the laws and regulations set by the government. as collins 2004 states while four major groups privately owned newspaper ownership the governments tentacles extended to control media through restrictive registration and content policies. they had to cross-check with these authoritarian laws before deciding if the content was legal. these restrains made it illegal for journalists to interview and publish quotes and photographs of banned persons such as nelson mandela and the african national congress. they had to find subtle and creative ways to report about the state of the country. any journalist who tried to expose the truth was imprisoned some even spent long periods of time under solitary confinement.

However, despite all of these laws there were a few journalists who tried to expose the inhumanity of apartheid. when these restrictions were put in place the government also began shutting down newspapers that were accused of inciting revolution. twenty years ago in 1994 the african national congress won the general election that finally swept away apartheid and brought freedom to the citizens of south africa. the laws that were introduced during apartheid that were censoring media were removed and press freedom was restored. the removal of these previous laws and regulations meant that the media could report on the activities of those who were exiled during apartheid and the general state of the country without fear of being punished. in 1996 the countrys constitution was adopted which protects the freedom of press in its bill of rights. new regulations were put in place to prevent the press from acting unethically. according to brand south africa 2002 south africas print media also subscribe to the press

code which oversees the print medias system of voluntary independent co-regulation. this means that the press is to be held accountable for what it produces under the guidelines of the south african press code. currently south africa is living in digital media age where news can be found online.

This new method eliminates production and printing costs and it can go straight to the publisher and the public. although online journalism is cheaper print media has objective and journalism and reporting. past events that occurred during apartheid have influenced how journalism works today in south africa. journalists throughout the 42 years of the regime were faced with strict restrictive censorship laws especially those of english-language newspapers. hence they were constantly fighting for liberal journalism free press which resulted in harassment and jailing for some. after the release of nelson mandela in 1990 journalists were slightly able to enjoy liberal journalism before they were able to take complete advantage of it after 1994. after south africas independence journalism has become more prominent as journalists are now able to report on all viewpoints and not just one which favors the government.

In a democratic south africa journalists no longer have to fear strict laws placed on them. henceforth they are able to report any news which is otherwise valid and backed up with sources. the electronic media went through a considerable change after 1994 matisonn 2017 the internet and social media have become an apparent source for information that journalists have used to their advantage. not only it is easier but they have also been able to reach more younger citizens. the problem however that journalists have faced due

to the internet is that there is a decrease in the use of print media such as newspapers. currently in south africa there are many issues in journalism which are being faced on a daily basis by journalists. journalists are being faced with the issue of safety and ethics. in terms of ethics in 2018 the sunday times editor bongani siqoko had to issue an apology for false allegations written in the newspaper. this was due to the fact that the journalists who wrote the articles did not ensure the credibility of their sources. the best thing that was done was apologizing to the public and parting ways with the journalists. most field journalists worry for their safety especially where violence may occur.

An example can be made of michael tshele who was the first among three other journalists to be killed at a water supply protest he was unarmed and only doing his job. safety became more of an issue when photojournalist shiraaz mohamed was held hostage in syria for nearly three years; situations like these pose great concern as journalists fear to do their jobs. journalists such as tshidi madia farial haffajee and qaanitah hunter have had to deal with sexism and verbal harassment not only from social media but from politicians and their respective parties. people have become so desensitized to the harassment and mistreatment of journalists that younger journalists in particular dismissed the uptick in harassment and intimidation as normal quintal 2019 it is easy to conclude that journalism has played an important role in society wittingly or unwittingly throughout the years.

Journalists and media had endured the harsh conditions of apartheid and

tried to inform the people without going against the government and risk getting punished. even with all the mistreatment they endeavored to ensure that the unfairness of the apartheid government was known. journalists have been able to use that experience to better media in todays society. there are still many things to work through in terms of safety and ethical reporting but unlike during the regime they are able to truly inform the people freely without fear of losing their jobs and being punished. bibliography alhadeff v. 2018 journalism during south africas apartheid regime.

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