Media Release 

12 April 2023

Launch of the report on SONA media Coverage

JOHANNESBURG, 12 April 2022 – Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) launched the report on SONA media coverage. The 2023 state of the nation address (SONA) might be behind us, but the issues highlighted during the address still dominate media coverage – issues such as load shedding and the rising cost of living etc. Other issues highlighted in the address that South Africans are grappling with are unemployment, poverty, crime and corruption and these issues are listed as “issues that concern South Africans the most” in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s SONA.

To ascertain which issues and voices were prioritised by the media in coverage of SONA, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) conducted a 15-day media monitoring exercise of 48 South African online and print media. Aspects such as quantity of coverage, topics and sources were analysed. The sources were further analysed to determine which voices in terms of race, gender and their
affiliations were prioritised. Further, the analysis of sources was to be able to show whether and at what percentage, ordinary citizens were featured as sources in media coverage of the 2023 SONA.

Findings from previous media monitoring of coverage of similar events and issues of national importance have shown that the media tend to report in an event-based manner instead of issue-based. Further, the findings have revealed that certain voices are prioritised more by the media at the expense of equally and/or arguably more important voices such as those of ordinary citizens and experts.

Were trends in media coverage of the 2023 SONA any different from trends identified in media coverage of previously monitored issues and events of national importance? The analysis report being launched presents findings on how much coverage was done and whether it was event-based, what topics dominated and what sources were given more prominence.

Download the report here

For further information, please contact:

Lister Namumba, Media Monitoring Africa, Tel: 011 788 1278, Email:

About MMA

Media Monitoring Africa‘s vision is a responsible, quality media that enables an engaged and informed citizenry in Africa and across the world. MMA aims to promote the development of a free, fair, ethical and critical media culture in South Africa and the rest of the continent. To achieve MMA’s vision, the three key areas that MMA seeks to address through a human rights-based approach are: media ethics, media quality and media freedom.

For more information about MMA visit
Follow MMA on TwitterFacebook and YouTube