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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:Which Public? Whose Interest? The South African Media and its Role During the First Ten Years of Democracy
Authors:Wasserman, HermanISNI
De Beer, ArnoldISNI
Periodical:Critical Arts: A Journal of Media Studies
Geographic term:South Africa
Subjects:mass media
Literature, Mass Media and the Press
Politics and Government
History and Exploration
Abstract:A number of salient issues arose in the South African media landscape during the first ten years of its democracy. This article outlines the significant changes brought about by democratization, such as the shift from governmental control to self-regulation and ownership changes. The focus is on conflicts between the mainstream media sector and the new democratic government, especially as these conflicts relate to the difference in understanding the media's role in postapartheid society, that is, whether the media should serve the 'public interest' or the 'national interest'. In discussing these debates, the article contrasts the theoretical perspectives of functionalism and critical theory. From a functionalist perspective, the main issue regarding the media's role is the question of how the media could remain free to play its role as 'watchdog of democracy'. From a critical perspective, access to the media and a plurality of voices are the key issues in transforming the media. Bibliogr., notes, ref., sum. [Journal abstract]