Lynette Steenveld

The pen and the sword: Media transformation and democracy after apartheid

The Truth and Reconciliation Commission's report on the South African media under apartheid is an indictment of the complicity of 'free' media with the apartheid state. This chapter examines critiques of the media which argue that the contemporary structures of media ownership promote the reproduction of its history of news values, routines and practices, thereby compromising its ability to serve the interests of the new democracy. The country's first democratic elections in 1994 thus heralded in discourses of transformation which are examined in relation to the ANCs policy formulations regarding media transformation, ownership and diversity in post-apartheid South Africa. The chapter also probes conceptions of media accountability which are at the heart of government-media relations.

Keywords: transformation, diversity, ownership, policy, accountability


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