Media freedom of speech is of empirical importance for the sustainability of a democratic country. Diverse and pluralistic media is a key platform for country communication and pertinent information sharing. A democratic state such as South Africa carryies on her shoulders the responsibility to support and promote a free and diverse media, holding the interests of its citizens at heart. This very diversity will empower citizens and result in a participative country culture, translating to a people-driven democracy.
Has the South African media industry taken freedom of speech to the next level where inverse perceptions of reality is created? Have we allowed so much freedom to the detriment of a real and fair democratic society? Let’s review the past month’s headlines that barely made it:
Absa may have to pay back apartheid-era bailout of R2.25-billion; also mentioned in this provisional public protector report was a bail out of Samlam of R3.8billion; Rembrandt (Richemont): R2.2-billion; Daimler Chrysler: R5.5-billion; Armscor: $14.4-billion, implicated in $2.4-billion moved out of the country; and Nedbank: R500-million for a R100-million lifeboat. The “fired” DA Western Cape leader De Lille resigns as DA Western Cape leader and DA investigates De Lille over leaked reports. The Western Cape Chairperson resigns/”fired”; Joburg MMC clashes with Mashaba over City Power; Banks collusion and rand fixing; Life Esidimeni: 94 deaths.
These are the two minute noodles that made headlines and died a wam-bam-thank-you-mam death. Is this press freedom or a well-concocted recipe for a press cocktail that turns a sober society into a drunken state of reality? Out of all the headline stories stated above we are mostly impacted, and here to I refer to the citizens, by the rand volatility and its impact on our pockets. The rest is our political reality where we the citizens of this so-called democratic country are played like a fiddle to the master’s tune.
The tide however is turning and there is an undercurrent of unrest happening. This undercurrent, if not addressed, will soon become a violent movement that will undoubtedly spit out its masters leading to the most abrupt self-regulating mechanism. Salute!
- Leanne Williams