In 2014, the Public Protector, Adv Thuli Madonsela, talked about South Africa reaching a tipping point with regard to institutionalised corruption. Prior to, and since then, a whole slew of new censoring legislation and media management bills, state-supported buyouts and support of crony media concerns including the public broadcaster, have come on stream. State-owned enterprises (e.g. the national broadcaster, electricity, transport, post office, telecoms), are failing and reliant on continual state bale-outs. If 2014 was a tipping point, 2015 is the harbinger of a failing state.

Our presentation will examine the failure of journalism in critically confronting the above issues from early on. The discussion will briefly contextualise the new political economy of media, publishing, ownership and ideology in the post-2010 era, in relation to reporting on the immediate post-apartheid period. It will conclude with a discussion the state’s new forms of media control, in many ways much more stringent than ever occurred during apartheid. New forms of civil society resistance will be highlighted.

Keyan Tomaselli is editor of Critical Arts: South-North Cultural and Media Studies and co-editor of the Journal of African Cinemas. He is co-editor with Anthony Olorunnisola of Political Economy of Transformation: The South African Media (Hampton Press, 2011). A member of the academy of Science for South Africa, he is Distinguished Professor in the Faculty of Humanities at the University of Johannesburg. He is also Professor Emeritus at the University of KwaZulu-Natal, where he was for 29 years the Director of the Centre for Communication, Media and Society.

Eric Louw is an Associate Professor in the School of Communication and Arts. Most recently he is the co-author of Media and Society: Production, Content and Participation (Sage, 2015 with Nic Carah), New voices over the air: The transformation of the South African Broadcasting Corporation in a changing South Africa (Hampton Press, 2012 with Viola Milton), and in 2010 Roots of the Pax Americana: Decolonisation, development, democratisation and trade (University of Manchester 2010) and the Media and the Political Process  (2nd edition, with a Serbian translation appearing in n 2013). A/Prof Louw has previously worked for a number of South African universities, and run an NGO engaged in development work. He has published widely in the fields of political communication, South African media and South African political discourse.

Making Sense of the South African Revolution Lost: 'Give them a chance journalism'

Fri 13 Nov 2015 1:00pm2:00pm


Room 208, Joyce Ackroyd Building (#37)