The ANC’s poverty of strategy on media accountability

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


Since its National Congress in 2007, the African National Congress (ANC) has criticised the system of self-regulation in the print media, and promoted a statutory Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). This article considers the merits of the ANC’s arguments, as well as the media’s counterarguments. While there are problems with South Africa’s self-regulatory system for the print media, as it could be a more effective regulator of journalism standards, the ANC’s proposal for the establishment of a statutory MAT, supported by its alliance partner, the South African Communist Party (SACP), will not resolve these problems. In making this proposal, the ANC has failed to deepen the debate about media accountability, which is of global relevance given concerns about declining media standards in the wake of the twin problems of media concentration and commercialisation. The tribunal proposal will fail to address systemic problems in print media coverage, flowing from the realities of a largely commercial media system operating in a country characterised by extremely high levels of poverty and inequality, and a ‘thick, rich’ notion of accountability will not be realised without such change.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPress Freedom in Africa
Subtitle of host publicationComparative Perspectives
PublisherTaylor and Francis
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9780203720608
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


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