Zuma calls for patriotic news broadcasts

Zuma calls for patriotic news broadcasts

President Jacob Zuma. CC image courtesy of the World Economic Forum.

President Jacob Zuma has called for the coverage of news in South Africa to be done in a more patriotic manner, but he said this does not mean journalists should not report objectively and in a balanced manner.

Zuma made the statement in response to a parliamentary question, and has extended his call for patriotic news reporting and broadcasting to all media in the country, but not to the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) specifically.

In August Hlaudi Motsoeneng, chief operation officer (COO) of the SABC, called for 70 per cent of news broadcast in the corporations bulletins to be positive.

“Broadcasting patriotic news, objectivity and balance are not mutually exclusive. It means ensuring balance and fairness and putting the country first before any other consideration,” said Zuma.

According to Zuma, his call for patriotic-styled journalism cannot be interpreted as an attempt to compromise editorial independence.

“Covering stories exposing corruption for example, in a balanced and fair manner, could also count as patriotism,” said Zuma.

Zuma highlighted balance and fairness as the hallmarks of good journalism and The Presidency said it is not intending to undermine these principles.

“It is a call to the media to cover all sides of the South African story and ensure that a balanced and fuller picture emerges of the country and its achievements as well as challenges,” said Zuma.

Posted in: Broadcasting

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