Media Freedom and Performance
Media freedom is critical to the functioning of democracy. Media should not only be free from government interference but also from corporate influence. If these conditions are not met, media coverage can be biased. This would undermine citizen’s ability to make informed decisions.
During the ten years of democracy, the South African media has undergone substantial change and transformation, especially in the areas of ownership and the number of broadcasters. South Africa now boasts a free-to-air, commercial broadcaster (etv) and over 80 community radio stations, where there were none in existence pre-1994.
However, despite innumerable changes, juniorisation of newsrooms and lack of skilled staff and resources have resulted in an increase in the number of incidents of poor reporting in South Africa.
MMA works constantly to improve journalists’ awareness of human rights and inform them of poor practice, whilst defending media freedom and promoting self-regulation.