Times Live, January 31, 2012
The South African media is still being controlled by a white minority who have been in power since apartheid, the United Democratic Movement (UDM) said on Tuesday.
“One cannot shy away from the fact that the South African media is still heavily influenced by those who had been given power during apartheid,” UDM leader Bantu Holomisa said during a presentation to the Press Freedom Commission’s (PFC) public hearings in Johannesburg.
“Almost two decades into our democratic dispensation, the South African media remains in the tight control of a minority group that has deluded itself into thinking it has the power to dictate the nation’s thought processes.”
Holomisa said the UDM was concerned about the “biased and subjective” decisions made by editors and journalists on what was worth reporting on.
“They brand most stories which originate from opposition parties as un-newsworthy.
“The irony is that the very same journalists who refuse to cover certain political parties later joined government as its spokespersons.”
Holomisa said the media had a critical role to play in exposing the “wrongdoings” of public officials.
“If it were not for the media, we would all be blissfully unaware that we are being fleeced.
“We cannot support any attempts to suppress such scandals, and the regulation of the media should not be abused as a tool to stop the truth from getting out.”