Advantages And Disadvantages Of Media Censorship In Africa

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Discuss media censorship in Southern Africa

INTRODUCTION
Media censorship is a largely controversial topic in Africa. The dictionary defines the concept as, “Censorship is the suppression of free speech, public communication or other information which may be considered objectionable, harmful, sensitive, politically incorrect or inconvenient as determined by governments, media outlets, authorities or other groups or institutions” (Webster, 2015). Media censorship is a common practice in Africa and cannot be easily ignored, thus its effects are visible throughout the continent. To a greater extent there are advantages not to be left out such as protection of children and controlling the hate. However media censorship has disadvantages such
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The press is a vital element in a democratic country. Research taken states that “the role of media in democracy is it ensures that citizens make responsible, informed choices rather than acting out of ignorance or misinformation, secondly information serves a ‘checking function’ by ensuring that elected representatives uphold their oaths of office and carry out the wishes of those who elected them” (Global Center For Democracy and Government Bureau, 1999). However, this is not the case in Africa the media is constantly ‘strangled’ and kept under a watchful eye. A classic example where the press in violated publically is Zimbabwe. During all elections the Zimbabwean government manages to take a hold of all forms of media in the country. “The 2002 Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act (AIPPA) requires all journalists and media companies to register with the government-controlled Media and Information Commission (MIC) and gives the information minister sweeping powers to decide who is able to work as journalist” (The Freedom House, 2009). Furthermore they state that the Chinese technology has been used to jam frequencies used by foreign based radio stations in South Africa, U.S.A and United Kingdom that criticize the government. Such acts by the government are shameful as the media can be considered as a major part of democracy. The results of such disgraceful acts are that the…show more content…
As written in a newspaper article “the African National Congress (ANC) is pushing a series of measures which would, opponents say, undermine freedom of speech, criminalize investigative reporting and threaten whistleblowers in the civil service with lengthy prison sentences. (Howden 2010)” Furthermore it reads “the implementation of the Protection of Information Bill and the Media Tribunal which would make the press answerable to the government were put before the parliament where the ANC hold two-thirds majority. (Howden 2010)” Such acts are sinister and must be put to an end. President Zuma leader of the ANC who is currently under investigation for corruption is currently being exposed should be brought to justice. Investigative journalism must be credited and the press must be protected not be controlled for the benefits of greedy officials. The exposure of the president will also aid in preventing other government officials from doing the same as they run the risk of being caught and suffering the

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