By Mxolisi Ka Nkomonde
The White controlled media cartel in South Africa has been on a campaign to demonise opinions which do not fit the “official” narrative just like the Apartheid regime where opposing voices to Apartheid were labeled “communist” or “terrorist” but they have re-invented new terms such as“paid twitter” and “Gupta acolyte”.
What is puzzling about this new onslaught is that the corporate media received R6.4bn in advertising for newspapers alone in 2015 and R3.7bn for internet advertising. So how can it suggest that independent blogs and websites controlled by Blacks are “paid twitter” or “Gupta acolytes?
”This “Gupta” and “Zuma” scarecrow has been paraded by the bought corporate media to promote this racist idea that Blacks cannot think without some “baas” giving instructions – an Apartheid mindset. The problem with South Africa’s media especially print media was highlighted by the South African Human Rights Council(SAHRC) in 2000 in its report titled “Faultlines: Enquiry Into Racism in the Media” where one of the findings was as follows : “Most of the print publications are owned by a small and limited group of publishing houses. This concentration of ownership can stifle media diversity and prevent the media from properly reflecting the whole South African reality. Even where editors enjoy acceptable levels of editorial independence, it is found that greater diversity in ownership is consistent with achieving a greater diversity of views and opinions. Diversity in ownership will also ensure that the objective of having a representative media is achieved.”
The finding by SAHRC was just a confirmation of an observation made by former President NelsonMandela in December 1997 in his report to the African National Congress at its 50th National Conference in Mafikeng where he said: “Similarly, we have to confront the fact that during the last three years, the matter has become perfectly clear that the bulk of the mass media in our country has set itself up as force opposed to the ANC. In a manner akin to what the National Party is doing in its sphere, this media exploits the dominant positions it achieved as a result of the apartheid system, to campaign against both real change and the real agents of change, as represented by our movement, led by the ANC. In this context, it also takes advantage of the fact that, thanks to decades of repression and prohibition of a mass media genuinely representative of the voice of the majority of the people of South Africa, this majority has no choice but to rely for information and communication on a media representing the privileged minority. To protect its own privileged positions, which are a continuation of the apartheid legacy, it does not hesitate to denounce all efforts to ensure its own transformation, consistent with the objectives of a non-racial democracy, as an attack on press freedom. When it speaks against us, this represents freedom of thought, speech and the press – which the world must applaud! When we exercise our own right to freedom of thought and speech to criticise it for its failings, this represents an attempt to suppress the freedom of the press – for which the world must punish us!
Thus the media uses the democratic order, brought about by the enormous sacrifices of our ownpeople, as an instrument to protect the legacy of racism, graphically described by its own patterns of ownership, editorial control, value system and advertiser influence. At the same time, and in many respects, it has shown a stubborn refusal to discharge its responsibility to inform the public.”
Since the media continues to be controlled by White Monopoly Capital then the conclusion is that former President Mandela’s words remain very relevant 20yrs later
Source PwC September 2016 Entertainment and Media Outlook: 2016–2020 , 7th annual Edition