The freedom of the media is critical to the efficient functioning of a democracy. The media should not only be free from the interference of the government, but also from the corporate entity. If these conditions are not met, then media coverage runs the risk of bias and this would undermine the ability of the citizen to make informed decisions.
Over the past 20 years of democracy, the South African media landscape has undergone considerable change and transformation, especially when it comes to ownership and number of broadcasters. The country has a free-to- air commercial broadcaster (etv), more than 80 community radio stations and a thriving internet news community – none of this existed before 1994. An increase in junior staff in news rooms, a lack of skilled staff and limited resources have resulted in an increase in poor reporting in South Africa.
MMA works tirelessly towards improving journalist awareness of human rights and informing them of poor practice, all while defending the freedom of the media and promoting self-regulation. To find out more about how we drive freedom and promote efficient and ethical journalism, contact us.