Who, exactly, is “the media”?


It seems like everywhere one turns these days, one is confronted by some or other criticism or outright attack on “the media”. In many cases the critique displays an appalling ignorance of who and what “the media” really is. As a professional journalist and editor, this ignorance offends me and this post is my attempt to do something about that ignorance. Feel free to tell everybody you know about it – particularly those who are in the habit of criticising “the media”.


Changing the freedom charter?


With the current furore around the ANC’s determination to stop the media from reporting on its many failures in government, something rather strange happened the other day. I read an article (which I can’t find right now) in which the author argued that the establishment of a media appeals tribunal is contrary to South Africa’s freedom charter. Out of curiosity, I decided to check the ANC’s web site for that revered document to see if the author was right. He (or she) was; Here’s the relevant passage:

The law shall guarantee to all their right to speak, to organise, to meet together, to publish, to preach, to worship and to educate their children;