Thursday, August 05, 2010

free the word (s), media freedom...

It seems like the so-called "Hawks" did not have a case against Mzilikazi wa Afrika, a journalist, who was arrested in cowboy style yesterday and thrown in the dungeons (he was trucked to Mpumalanga). Perhaps it was simply part of the bigger threat of a clampdown on media-freedom in SA, perhaps it just showed off how incompetent the Hawks really are, moreso how futile it is to gag the truth. Let us cut to the real issue: our freedom is under threat.

The SA media has a political agenda. Politically, media should be part of the system of institutions guarding the truth and guarding our hard-earned freedom. Yet there is allways the danger, that they might only serve the system that reproduce and justify inequalities; in this case they will not report anything which will hit their pockets and the pockets of their owners, the elites.

My view is that it does not help to hide behind a veil of supposed independence, objectivity or neutrality, as a response to government's threat of a clampdown. A better response would be to concede their political and economic interest, but have environment where the news repressenting various interests can thrive. In my view this would leave space for newspapers with a clear government bias, but also others who repressent oppositional interests.

This viewpoint might sound naive. Its not. It takes into account my initial point of view that newspapers are being run like businesses. They are out to make profit and would dish out to an unsuspecting reader anything that sells. Hence, we need various perspectives, angles and interests to shed light on whats happening in our world. This kind of contestation is the only hope for the voices of the silenced to see the light of day. Hence we need to free the word, in order to free the world.
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