How Good is the South African Media for Democracy?

Mapping the South African Public Sphere after Apartheid *

In: African and Asian Studies

ABSTRACT

This article argues that media are not merely conduits for the government, political parties or citizens in post-apartheid South Africa, but have emerged as autonomous power centres in competition with other power centres. The transformation of the South African media since the demise of apartheid has taken the form of significant changes in the media's environment. There is now freedom to criticise the government, unprecedented access to state-held information, and the state's monopoly over broadcasting and diversification of commercial print media has been broken. Yet these developments have not in themselves had very many positive effects on democratic participation, and the media have not engaged in an effective critique of the country's continuing high levels of social and economic inequality or the structural constraints on the democratisation of its political life. Jacob examines the nature of South Africa's political transition from white-domination and apartheid regime to negotiated and "mediated democracy" that has adopted neoliberal economic policies to ascertain the reasons for this seemingly contradictory outcome.

  • ADAM, HERIBERT, KOGILA MOODLEY & FREDERIK VAN ZYL SLABBERT 1997 Comrades in Business. Cape Town: David Philip.

  • ALEXANDER, NEVILLE 1993 Some are more equal than others. Cape Town: Buchu Books.

  • BERGER, GUY 1999 'Towards an Analysis off the South African Media and the Transformation, 1994-99.' Transformation 38: 82-116.

  • BOND, PATRICK 2000 Elite Transition. From Apartheid to Neo-Liberalism in South Africa. Durban: University of Natal Press/Pluto Press. 2001 Against Global Apartheid: South Africa Meets the World Bank, IMF and International Finance. Cape Town: University of Cape Town Press.

  • BUTLER, ANTHONY 1995 Democracy and Apartheid: Political Theory, Comparative Politics and the Modern South African State. London: Macmillan.

  • DE KLERK, FW. 1998 The Last Trek. A New Beginning. The Autobiography. London: Macmillan.

  • DUNCAN, JANE 2000 Talk Left, Act Right: What constitutes transformation in South African media. Communication Law in Transition Newsletter 1(6), 10 June.

  • FINE, BEN & ZAVAREH RUSTOMJEE 1996 The Political Economy of South Africa: From Minerals-Energy Complex to Industrialisation. London: Hurst and Company.

  • FINNEGAN, WILLIAM 1988 Dateline Soweto: Travels with Black South African Reporters. New York: Harper and Row.

  • GILIOMEE, HERMANN 1996 Liberal And Populist Democracy In South Africa: Challenge, New Threats To Liberalism. Johannesburg: SAIRR. 1998 South Africa's Emerging Dominant Party Regime. Journal of Democracy 9(4), October: 128-142.

  • GILIOMEE, HERMANN & CHARLES SIMKINS 1997 The Awkward Embrace. Cape Town: Tafelberg.

  • GILIOMEE, HERMANN & LAWRENCE SCHLEMMER, EDS. 1994 The Bold Experiment: South Africa's New Democracy. Johannesburg, Southern Books.

  • GLASER, DARYL 2001 Politics and Society in South Africa. A Critical Introduction. London: Sage.

  • GUELKE, ADRIAN 1999 South Africa in Transition: The Misunderstood Miracle. London: IB Taurus.

  • HAIN, PETER 1996 Sing the Beloved Country: The Struggle for the New South Africa. London: Pluto Press.

  • HARVEY, ROBERT 2001 The Fall of Apartheid. London: Palgrave.

  • HOFSTRA, RON & GIBSON BOLOKA 2000 Calling the glass half full: A response to Berger's "Towards an analysis of the South African media and transformation, 1994-99." Transformation 43: 75-89.

  • HORWITZ, ROBERT 2000 Communication and Democratic Reform in South Africa. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • HOWARTH, DAVID 1998 'Paradigms gained? A critique of theories and explanations of democratic transition in South Africa.' Pp. 182-214 in South Africa in Transition. New Theoretical Perspectives, edited by David Howarth and Aletta Norval. London: Macmillan.

  • HUNTINGTON, SAMUEL 1991 The Third Wave: Democratization in the Late Twentieth Century. New York: University of Oklahoma Press.

  • JAKUBOWICZ, KAROL 1996 'Television and Elections in Post-1989 Poland: How Powerful is the Medium?' in Politics, Media and Modern Democracy, edited by David Swanson and Paulo Mancini. London: Praeger.

  • JOHNSON, KRISTA 2000 The trade-offs between distributive equity and democratic process: The case of child welfare reform in South Africa. African Studies Review 43, December: 19-38.

  • JORDAN, PALLO 1992 Strategic Debate in the ANC: A Response to Joe Slovo. African Communist 131.

  • KARL, TERRY & PHILIPPE SCHMITTER 1991 Modes of Transition in Latin America and Eastern Europe. International Social Science Journal 128: 269-284.

  • KLUG, HEINZ 2000 Law, Globalism and South Africa's Political Reconstruction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

  • MANDELA, NELSON 1995 Long Walk to Freedom: The Autobiography of Nelson of Mandela. London: Little Brown and Co.

  • MAPHAI, VINCENT 1996 The New South Africa. A season for power-sharing. Journal For Democracy 7(1), January: 67-81.

  • MARAIS, HEIN 1998 South Africa. Limits to Change: The Political Economy of Transformation. London: Zed Books.

  • MICKIEWICZ, ELLEN 1998 'Transition and Democratization: The role of journalists in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union.' In The Politics of News, The News of Politics, edited by Doris Graber, Denis McQuail and Pippa Norris. New York: Congressional Quarterly.

  • MORRIS, MKE & VISHNU PADAYACHEE 1988 State reform policy in SA. Transformation 7: 1-26.

  • NEOCOSMOS, MICHAEL 2001 'The post-development state in Southern Africa: Towards consensus as a mode of legitimation.' Paper presented at Workshop on 'Interrogating the new political culture in Southern Africa,' 13-15 June 2001, Harare, Zimbabwe.

  • NZIMANDE, BLADE 1992 Let us take the people with us. African Communist 131.

  • O'DONNELL, GUILLERMO, LAWRENCE WHITEHEAD & PHILIPPE SCHMITTER, EDS. 1996 Transitions, from Authoritarian Rule: Tentative Conclusions about Uncertain Democracies. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

  • PRZEWORSKI, ADAM 1991 Democracy and the Market: Political and economic reforms in Eastern Europe and Latin America. New York: Cambridge University Press.

  • SAUL, JOHN 2001 Cry the Beloved Country: The post-apartheid denouement. Monthly Review 52(8), January.

  • SISK, TIMOTHY 1995 Democratisation in South Africa: The Elusive Social Contract. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

  • SLOVO, JOE 1992 Negotiations: What room for compromises? African Communist 130.

  • SOLOMONS, HASSAN 1998 The Soul of A Nation: Constitution-Making in South Africa. Cape Town: Oxford University Press.

  • SPARKS, ALLISTAIR 1996 Tomorrow is Another Country. The Inside Story Of South Africa's Road To Change. Cape Town: David Philip.

  • SWANSON, DAVID & PAULO MANCINI, EDS. 1996 Politics, Media and Modern Democracy: An international study of innovations in electoral campaigning and their consequences. London: Praeger.

  • SWITZER, LES 1993 Power and resistance in an African society: The Ciskei and the making of South Africa. Madison: University of Wisconson Press.

  • SWITZER, LES & MOHAMMED ADHIKARI, EDS. 2000 South Africa's Resistance Press: Alternative voices in the last generation under apartheid. Athens: Ohio University Press.

  • TOMASELLI, KEYAN 2000 South African Media 1994-7: Globalizing via political economy. In De-Westernizing Media Studies, edited by James Curran and Myung Park. London: Routledge.

  • TOMASELLI, KEYAN, RUTH TEER-TOMASELLI &JOHANN MULLER 1987 Narrating the Crisis. Hegemony and the South African Press. Johannesburg: Richard Lyon & Co.

  • VALE, PETER & SIPHO MASEKO 1998 'South Africa and the African Renaissance.' International Affairs 74(2): 271-287.

  • VAN ZYL SLABBERT, FREDERICK 1992 The Quest for Democracy: South Africa in Transition. London: Routledge.

  • WALDMEIR, PATTI 1997 Anatomy of a Miracle: The end of apartheid and the birth of a new South Africa. London: Penguin Books.

Content Metrics

All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 151 74 13
Full Text Views 159 5 1
PDF Downloads 11 11 2