Today's Big Stories

Is it the role of the media to promote patriotism?

While SABC’s COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng voiced his support for media regulation, Minister of Communication Faith Muthambi told Parliament yesterday that Muthambi media has a responsibility to promote patriotism and nation building and not serve party politics.

John spoke to Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird about the state of reporting of the media and where does one draw the line between being patriotic and being a watchdog that speaks truth to power.

Bird called the claims are 'dangerous'. He said that, while the journalism profession is faced with its challenges, claims that there is a conspiracy against government or an anti-patriotic notion needs to be substantiated with a good, sustained body of evidence that the media can engage with.

To conflate an anti-ANC perspective with a move to be patriotic is dangerous.

William Bird, Director of Media Monitoring Africa

The media are very clearly regulated actually. Broadcast and print for instance have their own regulatory bodies. Given it is a quick and cost-effective means of addressing an complaint is pretty remarkable.

William Bird, Director of Media Monitoring Africa

Anyone who has tried to hold any of their local politicians to account recently will find that the print media and broadcast media offer them a far better chance of accountability.

William Bird, Director of Media Monitoring Africa

What we need to be concerned about is meeting the interests and needs of our audiences. If you get that right, it makes it a lot harder for both politicians and media to determine what they should or should not be covering.

William Bird, Director of Media Monitoring Africa

Listen to the conversation below:

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