A media historiographical investigation: Examining three aspects of a press club’s history over four decades

de Vente-Bijker, Tanya Nelly (2018-12)

Thesis (MA)--Stellenbosch University, 2018.

Thesis

ENGLISH ABSTRACT: This media historiographical study examines the history of the founding of the National Press Club (NPC). The NPC was founded as the Pretoria Press Club (PPC) in 1978, in Pretoria. In 2002, the PPC was renamed to the NPC to keep up with transformation of South African society in general. In 1980, the PPC introduced the Newsmaker of the Year award. Since then, the PPC, and later the NPC, named a Newsmaker of the Year annually. The goals of this study were to research three elements of the history of the NPC since its founding as the PPC. The first goal was to research the reason why the PPC was founded. The second was to investigate the reason for the name change from the PPC to the NPC, and the third was to research the selection of Newsmakers from 1980 until 2017. Social network theory and social responsibility theory were found to be relevant, and were both applied as theoretical frameworks for this study. Data was collected through historical research and semi-structured interviews with ten interviewees. These interviewees were either founding members, former chairpersons, or former, and current executive committee members. The research found that the NPC (and PPC) was founded to serve as a networking platform for journalists and, secondly, to serve as a platform for journalists to raise the status of the profession. It emerged that the name of the PPC was changed to the NPC to keep up with the transformation happening in South Africa, and to support transformation of the Press Club. As for the third goal of the study, the research found that the decision for a Newsmaker was made on the grounds of news value and impact (within a specific calendar year), which is decided by the executive committee of the club. The social network theory underwrites the networking aspect of the NPC, as it explores the notion of how individuals create societies through networking. The social responsibility theory supports the NPC’s founding purpose, namely to raise the status of the profession, as it prescribes certain “key journalistic standards”, such as ethics and the notion of press freedom, that should be upheld by the media.

AFRIKAANSE OPSOMMING: Hierdie mediahistoriografiese studie ondersoek die geskiedenis van die stigting van die Nasionale Persklub (NPK). Die NPK is in 1978 in Pretoria as die Pretoria Persklub (PPK) gestig. In 2002 is die PPK hernoem na die NPK om tred te hou met transformasie in die Suid-Afrikaanse samelewing. In 1980 het die PPK die Nuusmaker van die Jaar-toekenning ingestel. Sedertdien het die PPK, en later die NPK, jaarliks ’n Nuusmaker van die Jaar benoem. Die doelwitte van hierdie studie was om drie elemente van die geskiedenis van die NPK te ondersoek sedert die stigting van die PPK. Die eerste doel was om die rede waarom die PPK gestig is, te ondersoek. Tweedens is die rede vir die naam, wat van die PPK na die NPK verander is, ondersoek. Derdens is die keuse van Nuusmakers vanaf 1980 tot 2017 ondersoek. Sosiale netwerkteorie en sosiale verantwoordelikheidsteorie is albei as relevante teoretiese vertrekpunte bevind en daarom toegepas as teoretiese raamwerk vir hierdie studie. Data is ingesamel deur middel van historiese navorsing en semi-gestruktureerde onderhoude met tien rolspelers. Hierdie rolspelers was óf stigterslede, voormalige voorsitters, of voormalige en huidige uitvoerende komiteelede. Die navorsing het bevind dat die NPK (en PPK) gestig is om vir joernaliste as netwerkplatform te dien, en tweedens, as platform vir joernaliste om die status van die professie te verhoog. Wat die tweede doel van die studie betref, het dit geblyk dat die naam van die PPK na die NPK verander is om tred te hou met die transformasie in Suid-Afrika. Wat die derde doel van die studie betref, het die navorsing bevind dat die besluit vir ʼn Nuusmaker gemaak word op grond van nuuswaarde en impak (binne ’n spesifieke kalenderjaar) en dit word deur die uitvoerende komitee van die klub bepaal. Die sosiale netwerk teorie onderskryf die netwerk aspek van die NPK, aangesien dit die idee ondersoek hoe individue samelewings skep deur te netwerk. Die sosiale verantwoordelikheidsteorie ondersteun die NPK se tweede stigtingsrede, naamlik om die status van die professie te verhoog, aangesien dit sekere “belangrike joernalistieke standaarde”, soos etiek en die beginsel van persvryheid, voorskryf wat deur die media gehandhaaf moet word.

Please refer to this item in SUNScholar by using the following persistent URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10019.1/104901
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