The Struggle for Press Self-Regulation in Contemporary South Africa: Charting a Course Between an Industry Charade and a Governing Doormat

Self-regulation is widely seen as a way to balance media freedom with restraint. In South African press history, this balance has been the subject of contestation under apartheid. While the first 12 years after democracy were relatively uncontentious, concerns were raised in 2007 by proposals for st...

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Published in: Communicatio Vol. 36; no. 3; pp. 289 - 308
Main Author: Berger, Guy
Format: Journal Article
Language: Afrikaans
Published: South Africa Unisa Press, University of South Africa 11-01-2010
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Summary: Self-regulation is widely seen as a way to balance media freedom with restraint. In South African press history, this balance has been the subject of contestation under apartheid. While the first 12 years after democracy were relatively uncontentious, concerns were raised in 2007 by proposals for statutory regulation proposals by the ruling party. The performance of the Press Council was an important component in the subsequent power-play around these proposals. This article assesses how independent performance of the system helped persuade the rulers to temporarily suspend their proposals and utilise the existing channels. However, the persistence of a narrow reactive practice of self-regulation provided space for the resumption of contestation in July 2010. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]
ISSN: 0250-0167
1753-5379