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Wednesday, 4 May 2011

SWAZILAND JOURNALISTS ‘A DISGRACE’

Journalists in Swaziland are so scared of censorship they don’t do their job properly and that is a disgrace, a Swazi media expert has said.


So, ordinary people using Internet social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter are taking up issues affecting Swaziland that journalists will not.


Dr. Maxwell Mthembu, a lecturer in Journalism and Mass Communication at the University of Swaziland, said social media were the future of information sharing in Swaziland. The Swazi Observer newspaper reported him saying journalists were now unable to do their jobs properly because of censorship, which was at times self-imposed.


‘It is a shame and disgrace how journalist are now scared of addressing issues of importance, things affecting the nation. They are now even scared of addressing corruption,’ he told a meeting in Mbabane to mark World Press Freedom Day yesterday (3 May 2011).


Mthembu said social media were giving the people ignored by Swaziland’s ruling elite a platform to voice their concerns which were ignored by mainstream media.


He said social media were offering breaking news even before it could reach the mainstream media.


Mthembu said it was becoming pointless to censor the media because the news was available in social media.


He said government was failing to understand that the media landscape had changed over time. ‘Lack of public debate of social, political and economic issues will result in an increase of the use of social media,’ he said.

1 comment:

Siphephi Kunene said...

So true Dr. Mthembu, but then again some of the journalists that work for the media houses do not have even a single academic record of the work that they do. How are they then expected to do their jobs well?

They do not have any journalism background, something that sometimes help journalists practice their work in a more satisfactory manner.

They know nothing about ethics, and they are not protected in any manner from public attack.

It all goes back to the media houses. What criteria is used to employ the journalists and from the people they employ what sort of end product do they expect?

There should be some sort of entry qulification into the industry, just so that those journalists are able to practice journalism that is up to standard. Of course there would be slip ups but not what the media houses are giving to the public these days.