Zuma was addressing the !_LT_EMLeadership!_LT_/EM magazine’s Tomorrow’s Leaders convention in Pretoria on June 18 on the importance of developing excellence in strong and effective communication within the public and private sectors.
Zuma said communication is not value-free or neutral. “It has a bias and an ideological underpinning… it can also have a slant based on class, race or religion.
He added that the recent xenophobic attacks were about angry people who felt they had not been allowed space to communicate their concerns and grievances, The Star reported.
When asked if he thinks the poor are represented in the media, Anton Harber, director of the Journalism Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand, said, “It would be true to say that the media represents the views of those with access to wealth and power. However, the poor have less outlets. The rise of the Daily Sun has given a stronger voice to those that didn’t have it before.”
Harber says Zuma is pointing to the failure of public media, the public broadcaster and its duty to service the poor. “He (Zuma) would be correct in that they don’t do it as well as they should.”