By Loyiso Malgas
Professor. Herman Wasserman of Rhodes University chaired a session on the rise of the BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, China, and South Africa).
Russian journalism lecturer, spoke about the impact media has on Russia saying censorship in his country is very important.
“Tradition can never be overcome instantly, and journalism’s responsibility to Russian society looks rhetorical” he said.
BRICS was initially a concept of economic change within the developing countries, the media is expected to play a huge role in making sure that the government is accountable and that the media itself report to the public.
Another speaker present was Professor Shakuntala Rao from Plattburgh State University of New York.
She believes that the news focus has shifted from “truth seeking, conferring and oppositional to sometimes complicit with ruling ideology of the state.”
It was also shocking to learn that South Africa is the protest capital of the world.
Statistics reveal that an average of sixteen protests take place every four minutes in the country, and that South Africa is the most unequal society in the world.
Dr Julie Reid who is an activist for media and press freedom and also the Deputy President of the South African Communications Association however believes that South Africa needs to focus more on public service delivery.
“South Africa has a healthy regulatory environment that does not much monitoring but still far behind as compared to the countries like Brazil, Russia, India and China,” she said.