BuaNews (Tshwane)

19 October 2011

South Africa: Media Has Significant Democratic Responsibilities

Pretoria — The media has an important role to play in helping people communicate to strengthen democracy, says the Media Development and Diversity Agency (MDDA), as it marked Media Freedom Day on Wednesday.

Lumko Mtimde, CEO of the MDDA, said the media should promote a culture of human rights, enable all citizens to fully participate in economic growth, and speed up transformation and development.

This could only be achieved if all citizens, regardless of their social class, had access to a range of media, he said.

"We should remember that media freedom is for all citizens and not just for media practitioners. Media also provides a window of transparency in government and injects life to a country's economy by publishing financial and market information to citizens, allowing them to participate freely and fruitfully in their country's economy," Mtimde added.

Access to communication and information empowered citizens, facilitated participatory democracy, and helped defend, advance and deepen democracy, he noted.

Mtimde also called for rural communities to be better exposed to media products.

"We must ensure that rural communities have access to all media including radio, television, online, mobile and print services. We must ensure responsible journalism and that our media is transformed to reflect South Africa in every respect. We must also support and create an enabling environment for media development and diversity," he said.

Ads by Google

Copyright © 2011 BuaNews. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 2,000 reports a day from more than 130 news organizations and over 200 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.