“The Daily Sun, a South African tabloid, shall henceforward not use terms like aliens and evil aliens, in its coverage of foreigners. The xenophobic coverage of the newspaper is held accountable (amongst others, not defined) for the violence against foreigners at the start of the year.”
“The Media Monitoring Project (MMP), a South African organisation which follows the media of Southern Africa closely, and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) had filed a complaint against the Daily Sun with the South African Press Ombudsman. They found that the paper, because of its use of terms like alien and evil alien had contributed to the climate of xenophobia that kept South Africa occupied (expression). At first the Press Ombudsman found against the complainants, but when they appealed the Daily Sun proposed a settlement in which the paper promised not to use these controversial terms.”
“In violent incidents against mainly foreigners of Zimbabwean and Mozambican descent in May this year at least 22 people died. A lot of immigrants had to flee to refugee camps. As cause for the violence fingers were pointed at the economic malady and unemployment. A lot of South Africans supposedly see migrants as competitors. This (public) perception was supposedly fuelled by the way in which the South African media, and in particular the Daily Sun, write about foreigners.
In a report by the MMP it is confirmed that some South African media, when the subjects are foreigners, draw extensively from stereotypes. Foreigners would be illegal, criminal, steal jobs from South Africans, and spreaders of diseases, such as HIV. Mozambicans would be car thieves, and Nigerians drug smugglers. Also media have limited perception of why foreigners are (present) in South Africa. That there are refugees amongst the migrants and that the majority of the migrants are legally in South Africa, remains often unreported.
The MMP is happy that the Daily Sun, as a result of this complaint, will improve its coverage, and sees this as an important step (sign) that the media are to regulate themselves.
Also read: ‘Media medeverantwoordelijk voor geweld Zuid-Afrika’