!_LT_span style=”font-size: x-small;”Steyn Speed, communications coordinator of the ANC, says “many journalists barely scratch the surface of South African society. It is partly because of the lack of investment in journalism, making too many journalists dependent on press statements, sound-bites and – sadly – what is printed in other newspapers.”r /r /He adds, “the media does not do enough to take on others in power. There is not enough critical examination of what passes for conventional wisdom. Once an idea has been endorsed by certain commentators or social voices, these are taken as gospel by the media. Some assumptions are just not interrogated critically.”r /r /Speed is also critical about the way the media goes about obtaining information. “The media has become increasingly intrusive about the personal lives of public figures, reporting on matters that have no bearing on that person’s public duties.r /r /“It is too easy also to plant a story in the media. Journalists are often so keen for a scoop that they do not properly check what their anonymous source is telling them. They often produce rumour as fact.”r /r /The ANC is particularly critical of the SABC. He says the political party is concerned about the manner in which “the SABC covers the organisation, and politics more broadly. The SABC has not achieved the levels of professionalism and balance that is expected of a public broadcaster”.r /r /The party has however, welcomed the SABC’s recently launched 2009 election coverage plans. “The test of its plans will be the extent to which it is able to give a voice to ordinary South Africans, and not merely to analysts and experts. It will also need to provide a platform for all parties to articulate their policies while giving due consideration to the relative size and significance of the respective parties.”r /r /According to Speed, the quality of South African journalism still faces a number of limitations, including what he calls the “preoccupation of the mainstream media with the bottom-line and not giving sufficient recognition or resources to good journalism.”r /r /The answer according to the ANC is to “Keep asking questions. Keep reporting honestly, fairly and accurately. Do everything possible to give a voice to ordinary South Africans, in all their diversity and richness.”r /r / target=”_blank” href=”/themedia/view/themedia/en/page1351?oid=19864&sn=Detail”Cope’s views!_LT_/a on media differ markedly from that of the ANC. Its spokesperson John Nkuna says Cope is impressed with the state of the South African media. “So far we have had a lot of good experiences with the media and feel they are doing their jobs, such as educating the public about corruption within government.”!_LT_/span
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