Seasoned journalist and academic Professor George Claassen says the influence of social media has begun encroaching upon other mediums such as radio.
To mark World Radio Day, Claassen spoke about the power of radio programming and its role in promoting dialogue and democratic debate in South Africa.
He says talk radio listeners, in particular, tend to express a higher level of intolerance than other radio audiences but says this should not discourage broadcasters from facilitating important discussions.
There are voices of dissent, venturing into hate speech at times.— Prof George Claassen, Journalist, academic and Media24's Community Press ombudsman
We think that if we can say anything on social media, and get away with it, we can do it on radio too.— Prof George Claassen, Journalist, academic and Media24's Community Press ombudsman
It's a powerful medium. I think there's a lot of hate speech and intolerance on the radio right through, wherever you are.— Prof George Claassen, Journalist, academic and Media24's Community Press ombudsman
Claasen says the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa's (BCCSA) ethical code helps hold the medium to account.
We [media] have to educate society without being dogmatic about it or by talking down to people.— Prof George Claassen, Journalist, academic and Media24's Community Press ombudsman
He maintains that debates on the airwaves are very important but it remains important to safeguard the platform from hate speech.
Listen to the discussion on The John Maytham Show: