Representation of black, young, women politicians in South African online news media : a case study of Lindiwe Mazibuko

Mannya, Maphuti Mabothakga (2013-03)

Thesis (MPhil)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: One of the main areas of transformation that continues to be a priority in the 21st century in South African and all other democratic societies is equality between men and women. The media plays an important role in attaining the desired balance in the way it represents both genders. This study analysed the representation of South Africa's main opposition party's (Democratic Alliance) parliamentary leaders, Lindiwe Mazibuko, in the online print media in South Africa. Articles on Mazibuko from four leading news websites were analysed during the period in which her nomination to the position of parliamentary leader was announced, the run up to the party's elections, her election to the position and a month into her election. Not all persons suffered equally under the Apartheid regime therefore the empowerment of black women and their rise to positions of leadership and power remains an important priority if the gains of freedom are to be completely attained. Therefore every hindrance that would hamper their efforts should be addressed. The way the media represents not only women in general, but black women in particular is an important area of focus. Moreover, coverage of these women when they are in power and how they are portrayed to be handling these positions is critical. The paper approaches the representation of black, women politicians in the South African media from a womanist approach which goes beyond feminist assertions, from the mass communications theory, gender and media and the political economy theories. Using the quantitative research method of content analysis, 101 articles published on Timeslive, City Press Online, Mail & Guardian Online and Independent Online websites between 1 September 2011 and 30 November 2011 were analysed. The findings revealed that Mazibuko's age was mentioned in 62% of the articles, her gender in 28% of the articles and her race in 21%. This means that more than her race and gender, her age was the main area of focus for the majority of the news articles. The conclusion of this study questions the focus of these attributes that have no influence on her performance or ability to do her work and what it means to the progression of media representation of not only black women political leaders, but aspiring young, black, women political leaders.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Gelykheid tussen mans en vroue is een van die hoofareas van transformasie, en 'n voortdurende prioriteit in die 21ste eeu in die Suid-Afrikaanse en talle ander demokratiese samelewings. Die media speel 'n belangrike rol om 'n gewenste balans te bereik deur hoe beide geslagte verteenwoordig of uitgebeeld word. In hierdie studie was die verteenwoordiging van een van Suid-Afrika se hoof opposisie partye (Demokratiese Alliansie) se parlementêre leiers, Lindiwe Mazibuko, in die aanlyn gedrukte media in Suid-Afrika geanaliseer. Artikels oor Mazibuko van vier toonaangewende aanlyn nuus webtuistes tydens die aankondiging van haar nominasie tot die posisie as parlementêre leier, die aanloop tot die party se verkiesing, haar verkiesing tot die posisie, asook 'n maand na haar verkiesing, is geanaliseer. Nie alle mense het in dieselfde mate onder die Apartheidsbewind gely nie, daarom bly die bemagtiging van swart vroue en hul opgang na leierskap 'n gewigtige prioriteit indien die voordele van vryheid as geheel bereik sou word. Alle hindernisse wat hul pogings beperk moet dus aangespreek word. Die manier hoe die media nie net vroue in geheel, maar spesifiek swart vroue verteenwoordig, is 'n belangrike fokus area. Verder is die blootstelling van hierdie vroue wanneer hulle in magsposisies is, asook hoe hulle voorgehou word om daardie posisies te hanteer, van kardinale belang. Hierdie tesis benader die verteenwoordiging van swart, vroue politici in die Suid-Afrikaanse media vanuit 'n vroue (womanist) benadering wat verder as feministiese bewerings gaan, vanuit die massa-kommunikasieteorie, geslag en media asook die politieke ekonomiese teorieë. Daar was gebruik gemaak van inhoudsanalise om 101 artikels wat op die webtuistes van 'Timeslive’, 'City Press Online’, 'Mail & Guardian Online’ en 'Independent Online’ gepubliseer is tussen 1 September 2011 en 30 November 2011, te analiseer. Die bevindinge het daarop gewys dat Mazibuko se ouderdom in 62% van die artikels, haar geslag in 28% van die artikels en haar ras in 21% van die artikels genoem was. Dit beteken dat meer as haar geslag of ras was haar ouderdom die vernaamste fokusarea van die meeste nuusberigte. Die gevolgtrekking van hierdie studie bevraagteken hierdie eienskappe wat geen invloed het op haar vordering of vermoë om haar werk te doen, en wat dit beteken vir die vooruitgang van mediaverteenwoordiging van nie slegs swart, vroue politieke leiers nie, maar aspirant jong, swart, vroue politieke leiers.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/80129
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