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Listening Post

Are South Africa's media biased?

Print media and the country's state-owned broadcaster have been accused of slanted coverage of the recent elections.

Last updated: 10 May 2014 08:49
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Twenty years ago, South Africa held its first democratic elections, which brought Nelson Mandela's African National Congress (ANC) to power.

Today, under President Jacob Zuma, the ANC has just won its fifth consecutive term - but it did so with a reduced margin. The party has blamed a lot of its political problems on the country's media, particularly print media, which they have accused of focusing solely on the negatives.

By contrast, state-owned broadcaster SABC has been criticised for supporting the ANC, particularly during this election, when it refused to air one of the main campaign ads of the leading opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).

Talking us through the story this week is a candidate for the DA, Mmusi Maimane; Kaizer Kganyago, SABC spokesman; Jackson Mthembu, a spokesman for the ANC; and Moshoeshoe Monare, political editor for the Mail & Guardian.

In this week's News Bytes: In the Philippines, a journalist who hosted a current affairs radio show is gunned down, the second Filipino reporter to be killed this year; Turkey calls on its media to hit back at a new report published by US based rights advocacy organisation, Freedom House, criticising the country's record on media freedom; and you have heard of the Pulitzers and the Polks, but what about the Kremlins? Russian President Vladimir Putin hands awards to hundreds of Russian journalists for their reporting of the Ukraine story.

While browsing the internet, how many times have you found yourself clicking on an enticing headline only to find that the story it leads to does not live up to expectations? It is called "clickbait", and as the name implies, the headline draws us in but does little to inform. Despite this, it has become hugely popular and mainstream news organisations are being forced to take notice. In this week's feature, the Listening Post's Will Yong looks at the tricks and the clicks of the clickbait trade.

We close the show with a new public safety initiative from India. With its billion-plus population and high rate of traffic accidents, a video calling for people to wear seatbelts could save a lot of lives. But what sets this video apart is its stars - the Hijras, also known as Indian transgenders - who usually frequent the roads trading blessings for money but are now reminding Indians, in the style of flight attendants, to buckle up. It has been a huge hit online, racking up more than a million hits to date.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post.

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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