Democracy & Governance

The freedom of the media is essential to any successful democracy. Not only should the media be free of any political interference, but it must fulfill its role ethically and without bias.

One of the most vital roles the media plays is during an election period. Here the media must navigate between personal contention and party accusation to find the truth, to clarify the core issues of principle and policy so that the public can make an informed vote on election day.

In 1993, the Media Monitoring Project – originally the Broadcast Monitoring Project – was started to address concerns over whether the South African media could fairly portray the issues around the 1994 elections. Since then, we have monitored every South African election, both locally and nationally, and we have released the results as regularly as possible. The goal is to highlight any issues and to advocate for improvement in election media coverage.

MMP is the only monitor of the fairness of the elections over a broad range of media in South Africa.

To find out how South African media have performed in their election coverage, from the first post-apartheid elections in 1994 to today, take a look at our comprehensive election reports.