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Seleoane, M. and Duncan, J. (Eds). (1998). Media and Democracy in South Africa


In April 1994 South Africa entered a new era when it held its first democratic elections. Institutions of government and civil society are still struggling to position themselves in this changed environment in spite of the fact that the country's transition is now four years old. These institutions include the media. Criticism has been voiced that government and society are gradually transforming, but not the media and therefore they are obstructing democratisation.

Is this criticism justified? Should the media in fact be obliged to play an active role in consolidating democracy, or is this role filled adequately by the objective reflection on events, protected by press freedom principles enshrined in the constitution. What do we mean when we speak of media, and are there not contestations concerning the nature of democracy within and between specific forms of media, driven by widely different social interests?
December 14 1998 By Freedom Of Expression Institute media, democracy, free expression, ownership and control