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Title:The Press Freedom Commission in South Africa and the regulation of journalists online: lessons from Britain and Australia
Author:Botma, GabriŽl J.ISNI
Periodical:Communicatio: South African journal for communication theory and research (ISSN 1753-5379)
Geographic terms:South Africa
Great Britain
electronic publishing
media law
freedom of the press
External link:https://doi.org/10.1080/02500167.2014.932295
Abstract:The last few years have seen several attempts to strengthen press regulation in various parts of the world, while the difficulty of controlling online publication is arguably only increasing. In this article the focus is on recent suggestions for a new system of co-regulation of the press in South Africa, in order to see how online journalism is viewed and treated by regulators. In comparison, the article refers to suggestions in this regard by the Leveson Inquiry in Britain and two Australian press and media reviews. Reference is made to Flew and Swift (2013), who apply six main theories in three overlapping categories in debates on the role of journalism and its relationship to the State: fourth estate/market liberal; social responsibility/critical pluralist and dominant interest/radical. A literature review and a qualitative approach were used to identify and compare key debates in various reports from Australia, Britain and South Africa. While suggestions in Britain and Australia favoured an inclusive approach to the regulation of print and online journalism, the South African Press Freedom Commission rejected the idea, due to principle and practical objections. It also became clear that the key problem in the three countries lay in the inability to establish consensus between divergent perspectives on dominant interest and social responsibility, and the entrenched values of the fourth estate/market liberalism. Bibliogr., notes, sum. [Journal abstract]