Me­dia cen­sor­ing good SA sto­ries, says SABC boss

The Witness - Wheels - - NEWS -

JO­HAN­NES­BURG — South African me­dia are cen­sor­ing good news sto­ries about the coun­try, said SABC COO Hlaudi Mot­soe­neng.

Mot­soe­neng, on the side­lines of an SABC event in Jo­han­nes­burg on Tues­day that awarded pro­duc­tion con­tracts to lo­cal play­ers, was re­spond­ing to News24’s ques­tions about al­le­ga­tions of cen­sor­ship at the broad­caster.

Crit­ics have crit­i­cised the pub­lic broad­caster’s de­ci­sion this month not to broad­cast footage of peo­ple de­stroy­ing pub­lic prop­erty dur­ing protests.

Op­po­si­tion par­ties, an­a­lysts and ed­i­tors have slammed the SABC move, call­ing it cen­sor­ship.

But Mot­soe­neng hit back at th­ese crit­i­cisms on Tues­day. “You know English is nice. What is the in­ter­pre­ta­tion of cen­sor­ship? How do you un­der­stand cen­sor­ship?” he re­sponded to News24.

“I can also twist that ques­tion to say that me­dia gen­er­ally — they don’t show good sto­ries. For me it is cen­sor­ship.

“I can say that be­cause you are cen­sor­ing what is good; you don’t show what is good, but you just show this bad el­e­ment,” he added.

Mot­soe­neng went on fur­ther to say that lo­cal me­dia fails to show­case “the many peo­ple who are do­ing well” in South Africa.

Ex­plain­ing the SABC’s de­ci­sion not to broad­cast burn­ing of pub­lic prop­erty, Mot­soe­neng told News24 that the me­dia in­dus­try in South Africa should steer clear of in­cit­ing this ac­tiv­ity.

“For me what is crit­i­cal is that we as the SABC, or me­dia gen­er­ally, you can’t in­cite the pub­lic to burn prop­erty, be­cause the prop­erty that peo­ple are burn­ing it is not a rul­ing party prop­erty, it is com­mu­nity prop­erty,” he said.

“To be hon­est, me­dia en­cour­age peo­ple to com­mit this cer­tain crime of burn­ing and so on. Be­cause you know your­self as a jour­nal­ist that some­times when peo­ple see you, they rush and burn be­cause they re­alise me­dia is among them,” Mot­soe­neng added.

How­ever, he ex­plained that the SABC jour­nal­ists will still go to scenes where prop­erty is be­ing burnt.

“Peo­ple will al­ways cover, our jour­nal­ists will go and cover,” said Mot­soe­neng. — News24.

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