The political role of black journalists in Post-apartheid South Africa : the case of the City Press – 1994 to 2004

Sesanti, Simphiwe Olicius (Stellenbosch : University of Stellenbosch, 2011-12)

Thesis (PhD )--University of Stellenbosch, 2011.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This study investigated the political role of the City Press. black journalists in post-apartheid South Africa. Taking into consideration its ownership by a white media company, the study investigated the role played by African cultural values in the execution of their tasks with a particular focus on the period 1994 to 2004. The interest in the role played by African cultural values in the execution of the City Press. black journalists. tasks, and in the issue of the newspaper.s white ownership, was driven by an observation that historically, the trajectory of black newspapers was to a great extent influenced by the interests and values of the owners. The issue of ownership was of interest also because the black political elite frequently accused black journalists in South Africa of undermining the ANC government so as to please the white owners of the newspapers they worked for. Also, taking into consideration that the City Press played a conscious role in the struggle against apartheid, the study sought to investigate the role the City Press defined for its journalists in post-apartheid South Africa, specifically in the first decade after 1994. Three theoretical frameworks were deemed applicable in this study, namely Liberal- Pluralism, Political Economy, and Afrocentric theories on the media.s political role in society. The first was chosen on the basis of its theorisation on the political role of the media. The second was chosen on the basis of its analysis of the link between the performance of the media and ownership, although that is not the only issue Political Economy deals with. The third was chosen on the basis of its focus on African historical and cultural issues. The study has employed qualitative research methods, namely content analysis and interviews. It has a quantitative aspect in that it involved the counting of the City Press. editorials, columns and opinion pieces, as an indication of how many journalistic pieces were analysed. The period of this study ends in 2004 in the year that the City Press was re-launched as a ¡°Distinctly African¡± newspaper. The ¡°Distinctly African¡± concept had both cultural and political implications for the City Press. journalists. This study covers some of these aspects in a limited way since the research period ends in the year 2004. The research found that in post-apartheid South Africa, the City Press. black journalists. political role was to make sure that the objectives of the anti-apartheid struggle were achieved. It also established that the City Press. black journalists executed their tasks independently without interference from their newspaper.s white owners. The study also established that some of the newspaper.s black journalists experienced tensions between what they perceived as expectations of journalism and what they perceived as the prescriptions of African culture.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie studie het die volgende ondersoek: die politieke rol van die City Press se swart joernaliste in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika, die rol van Afrika-kulturele waardes in die uitvoering van hul taak met 'n spesifieke fokus op die periode 1994 tot 2004, en die konteks van die koerant as eiendom van 'n tradisionele wit media maatskappy. Die belangstelling in die rol van Afrika-kulturele waardes in die uitvoering van die taak van die City Press se swart joernaliste en die kwessie van die koerant se wit eienaarskap is gedryf deur die waarneming dat, histories, swart koerante grotendeels beïnvloed is deur die belange en waardes van die eienaars. Die kwessie van eienaarskap was ook van belang omdat die politieke elite gereeld swart joernaliste beskuldig het dat hulle die ANC-regering ondermyn om sodoende die wit eienaars van die publikasies vir wie hulle werk, tevrede te stel. In ag geneem die feit dat die City Press 'n bewustelike rol in die struggle teen apartheid gespeel het, het die studie ook die rol ondersoek wat die City Press vir sy joernaliste in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika gedefinieer het, spesifiek in die eerste dekade ná 1994. Drie teoretiese raamwerke is beskou as van belang vir hierdie studie, naamlik die Liberale- Pluralisme, die Politieke Ekonomie en Afrosentriese teorieë oor die media se politieke rol in die samelewing. Die studie het twee kwalitatiewe navorsingsmetodologieë gebruik, by name inhoudsanalise en onderhoude. Daar was 'n kwantitatiewe aspek deurdat die City Press se hoofartikels, rubrieke en meningstukke getel is as 'n aanduiding van hoeveel stukke geanaliseer is. Die navorsing het bevind dat die City Press se swart joernaliste hul politieke rol in post-apartheid Suid-Afrika gesien het as om onder meer seker te maak dat die doelwitte van die vryheidstryd bereik word. Die studie het ook vasgestel dat die City Press se swart joernaliste hul taak onafhanklik en sonder inmenging van die koerant se wit eienaars kon doen. Ook is bevind dat sommige van die koerant se swart joernaliste spanning ervaar tussen eise van die joernalistiek en wat hulle beskou as voorskriftelikheid van Afrika-kulturele waardes. Die tydperk van die studie eindig in 2004, die jaar waarin die City Press geloods is as 'n "Distinctly African"-koerant. Die "Distinctly African"-konsep het beide kulturele en politieke implikasies vir die City Press se joernaliste. Hierdie studie dek sommige van hierdie aspekte in 'n beperkte mate aangesien die navorsingstydperk in 2004 eindig. Dit word voorgestel dat meer navorsing gedoen word met spesifieke verwysing na die tydperk tussen 2004 en 2009, die volgende vyf jaar van demokrasie in Suid-Afrika. In die politieke diskoers verwys die swart politieke elite gereeld na Afrika-kultuur. Dit is nog 'n aspek wat toekomstige studies kan ondersoek, naamlik die verhouding tussen joernalistieke waardes en praktyke aan die een kant, en Afrika-kultuur aan die ander.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/17833
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