Resources - Media Analysis

Media Monitoring Africa releases periodic media analysis pieces looking at current issues in the media though a human rights lens.

Category: Race, Xenophobia and Ethnicity [REMOVE]

Somalia in Media Images: Battling Compassion Fatigue

Images of emaciated children have recently made their way into the media following the widely reported famine in Somalia. Media Monitoring Africa conducted an in-depth analysis into the visual portrayal of the famine and the underlying messages.

The right to express but not racially stereotype

Media Monitoring Africa condemns Sunday World demeaning ‘coloured woman’ and display sexism

Election coverage 15 April 2009 - Sports and xenophobia

Election coverage for Wednesday 15 April 2009 included a variety of different stories.  However, the most prominent were stories about South African’s voting overseas.  Although this was covered far more prominently on television, we are likely to see more coverage in the press tomorrow.  An innovative elections story in The Star was tainted with xenophobic statements from a resident in an area recently affected by xenophobic violence.  The statements were not contradicted.

Election coverage 3 April 2009 - White Afrikaaners and Zuma

The outstanding decision by the NPA on whether Jacob Zuma would face charges was discussed on Friday 3 April with much comment.  However, most of this was not explicitly related to the election.  The election coverage continued in much the same way as previous coverage, with top stories also revolving around the ANC and Zuma.

Election coverage 4 March 2009 - Shaik and Evita share the limelight

Media Monitoring Africa has monitored every democratic election in South Africa. This year we are doing the same, providing daily and weekly reports on media coverage of election news, as well as MMA’s Election Media Ratings.

Top elections stories for Wednesday, 4 March are:

Crime according to Beeld: Fear in Black and White

Extreme news sells. Items that are different from everyday life, items that disturb people. Crime is therefore a good subject for newspapers’ front pages from a commercial point of view. Unfortunately, crime in South Africa is not just a creation of the national media. It is a very real problem. And although most statistics suggest decreasing figures, some specific forms of criminality have become more common.

The picture that became a symbol for xenophobic violence

A picture is worth a thousand words. And some of them have the power to encapsulate events and become the visual symbol for political or humanitarian situations. An example of this is the picture of Hector Pietersen being carried by his sister which became a symbol for the Sharpeville massacre. The image of a man who was set on fire that shocked South Africa and the world in the second week of the xenophobic violence has done the same for the recent xenophobic attacks. The Media Monitoring Project looks at the issues that this image raised for ethical journalism.

The Freestate Four – race and racism in the press

This update represents the findings of the research done into the coverage of the racist incident that took place at the University of the Free State recently and the controversial relaunch of the Forum of Black Journalists.

Zimbabwean elections: rumour and speculation

During elections, the media have a very important role to play.  Reporting on Zimbabwe was undoubtedly particularly challenging.  However, South African media performed well.  Although they can be accused of bias, it seems they performed well in promoting human rights and democracy. This update will give a summary of how the South African media reported on the Zimbabwean elections in 2008 and explore the main themes of the coverage.

Naming and shaming the ‘Freestate Four’: Privacy, dignity and the public interest

Media reports about the abuse of cleaning staff by students at the University of the Free State got horrified responses from various quarters. In this climate of public outrage, the print media had the choice of whether to make the identities of the offenders and victims public, or not. Most media seemed to have decided to publish the identities of the perpetrators, some media even added to the initial infringement on the victims’ dignity by revealing their identities. This article explores the ethics and reasons around this decision.

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