NEWS that the ANC government is considering the creation of a media tribunal “that will investigate the media’s self-regulatory dispensation, safeguard all citizens’ rights and promote ‘real’ media freedom and diversity,” comes as no surprise.
After years of market fundamentalism “to retain the old apartheid economic and social relations and what analysts see as a “global offensive against progressive values and ideas…where commercial interests are impacting negatively on editorial quality, constituting the real threat to media freedom, diversity and democracy.” this blog can only suggest a few improvements in the present dispensation in which crooks like O’Reilly are able to defraud their workers out of millions, and racists like Hein Brand can still bleat about family values while enforcing a racial segregation in the newsroom and continuing the Media24 policy of racial profiling.
* Laws to stop Irish Capitalists from committing fraud, promoting market illogic and brainwashing readers.
* Laws to force Afrikaner media houses to atone for the past, and reparations to victims of apartheid who are still being brainwashed by a racist media system.
* Laws to stop fat-cat columnists smoking Cuban cigars while dissing the masses in a neo-liberal newspeak that promotes top of the range German sedans, slavish adherence to the marketplace in which workers are forced to use a non-existent public transport system while accepting wages that would make dissidents locked-up in a Soviet gulag, blush.
If this sounds like regulation, then consider the following: At a public colloquium at Wits University in Johannesburg between media practitioners, various organisations, government, and ordinary citizens. ” ANC national executive committee member Saki Macozoma, former CEO of MDDA Libby Lloyd and media policy analyst Kate Skinner presented their arguments on media consolidation and diversity.
“We must accept that consolidation is a fact of life and shareholders’ expectations have nothing to do with what is happening in society,” Macozoma said. “As long as the shareholders’ money is used to create capital, we will have a problem of media diversity.”
If there was a vibrant alternative press none of this would be happening, but as is life, the big three have ground down whatever was left of the alternative and progressive left. The result, is justifiable anger that we can get into the situation in which the daily press reflects absolutely nothing of what is happening on the ground in terms of arts and culture, popular culture, entertainment, life as we, ordinary citizens know it.
Time for the big three to eat humble pie.