South Africa: World Press Freedom Day - SA Media Must Embrace Fourth Industrial Revolution's Radical Challenges


The Fourth Industrial Revolution is paving the way for transformative changes in the way we live, radically disrupting the media. This affects the role of journalists and the future of employment in media, harming the notion of diversity, plurality and multiplicity of voices.

Independent journalism and news distribution play an indispensable role in informing citizens. They are a pillar of public life and pluralistic, democratic societies. At their best, they are a source of reliable, quality information that people trust and understand. As South Africa and the world commemorated World Press Freedom Day on 3 May, we have to pose and ask not so much about media freedom -- rather, we should embrace the challenges faced by the publishing sector and democratic governments alike whose measurement of the type of government they preside over is purely based on the depth of free and independent media as the Fourth Estate.

Since the 17th century, the role of the press as Fourth Estate and as a forum for public discussion and debate has been recognised and, to this end, the South African publishing sector has been producing news to communities for the past two centuries.

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