SACSIS columnist, Ebrahim-Khalil Hassen, argues that progressive activists should be given a fair chance to get their views into newspapers.
Hassen provides an example of how newspapers ignore civil society's views. Civil society raised concerns about aluminium smelters and their burden on South Africa's (SA's) electricity supply as far back as the year 2000, but they were ignored by the media. More recently, however, when the CEO of a bank said that the way to solve SA's electricity crisis was to close down aluminium smelters, suddenly it became an issue that the media was interested in.
Hassen made these remarks at a roundtable discussion co-hosted by SACSIS and the Friedrich Ebert Stiftung South Africa Office.
The roundtable discussion examined the media's perspective of the South African economy.
Editors were asked to answer the following questions: Is the economy on the right growth path? What are the prospects for making it more inclusive? How does the media report on the economy? Does the media have a vision for South Africa's economic development?
Media speakers at the event included, Nic Dawes (Editor in Chief, Mail & Guardian), Alide Dasnois (Editor, Cape Times) and Reg Rumney (Head of the Centre for Economics Journalism in Africa, Rhodes University) and Mondli Makhanya, Editor in Chief of Avusa Media and Chairman of SANEF.