How much to say or do? : an exploration from a public journalism perspective on the community involvement of the West Coast commercial community newspaper Weslander

Meissenheimer, Helene (2006-04)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2006.


ENGLISH ABSTRACT: Objectivity, impartiality and neutrality are normative values that South African journalists have been taught to aspire to. The South African media are still strongly grounded in a western liberal view of the press as Fourth estate and watchdog, a role that is associated with the aforementioned values. However, in the last decade some in the media like Thami Mazwai and scholars like Ngaire Blankenberg, Clifford Christians, Herman Wasserman, Arrie de Beer and others have questioned the appropriateness of western ethical values like objectivity for the South African media and suggested that there exists a need to develop an Africanised media theory. Some of the options that have been considered to find a workable alternative media theory for South Africa include the African belief system, ubuntuism, and the American public journalism movement. One of the issues that should come to the fore in these discussions is the appropriateness of community involvement by community media when addressing problematic issues in that community. A review of objectivity as ethical value raises the question on what is the appropriate limits for a newspaper to become involved in addressing and finding solutions for problems in the community. This thesis explores the community involvement of a commercial newspaper, Weslanderfrom a public journalism perspective.

AFRIKAANS OPSOMMING: Suid-Afrikaanse joernaliste word geleer om die normatiewe waardes: objektiwiteit, onpartydigheid en neutraliteit na te streef. Die westerse liberale siening van die pers as die vierde stand en waghond vorm steeds die grondslag van die Suid-Afrikaanse media, 'n rol wat vereenselwig word met genoemde normatiewe waardes. Gedurende die afgelope dekade het sommige in die media soos Thami Mazwai en akademici soos Ngaire Blankenberg, Clifford Christians, Herman Wasserman, Arrie de Beer en andere die toepaslikheid van westerse etiese waardes soos objektiwiteit vir die Suid-Afrikaanse media begin bevraagteken en voorgestel dat 'n behoefte aan ge-Afrikaniseerde media teorie bestaan. Sommige van die opsies wat vir 'n werkbare alternatiewe media teorie vir Suid-Afrika oorweeg is, sluit in die Afrika geloofsisteem, ubuntuism, en die Amerikaanse publieke joernalistiek beweging. Een van die kwessies wat in hierdie besprekings geopper behoort te word, is die toepaslikheid van gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid deur gemeenskapsmedia wanneer berig word oor probleme in die gemeenskap. Uit 'n hersiening van objektiwiteit as etiese waarde lei tot die vraagstuk oor hoe die toepaslike limiete dan moet lyk indien 'n koerant betrokke raak in die aanspreek en vind van oplossings vir probleme in die gemeenskap. Hierdie tesis ondersoek die gemeenskapsbetrokkenheid van 'n kommersiele koerant, Weslander, vanuit 'n publieke joernalistiek perspektief.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL:
This item appears in the following collections: