Rebellion for reportage

 

My father calls 19:00 the holy hour; it is the same time as the start of the South African broadcast corporation (SABC) Nguni news bulleting on SABC 1. During holy hour we are not allowed to talk, walk or make any movement that will result in a disturbance. I grew up in a household where the SABC was regarded as the pinnacle of broadcast media in Johannesburg; it was the voice of the people and our trusted source of information. It was this same zeal that encouraged me to pursue a career in media, just like all well-known SABC journalists I wanted to be part of the movement that brought news to the people as it was. In June of 2016 when SABC Chief operating officer Hlaudi Motsoeneng introduced new measures regarding the state of news broadcast on the SABC, these new measures meant journalists had to present a filtered vie of news to adhere to the status quo. As a young media practitioner myself I was deeply concerned by these measures. The product of news is education and emancipation, it is the ability to give people information that they can use to assess the state of our nation. When we report news, we are driven by a profound duty to give our people equal and free opportunity to decide their own future. We don’t report news because we want anarchy, but because we want a conscious people who take decisive action when their voices are not heard. It is this devotion to the integrity of journalism that led many to the SABC building in Auckland Park to add their voices in support of suspended journalists as well as SABC employees working under the rule of an iron fist. Many of the young journalists present concede that our parents were promised freedom which includes freedom of speech and expression and recent events at the SABC contradict these promises. The power of change is with the people and it is only when people stand up that the flame of change will be ignited. In the words of the poet Langston Hughes ‘’ I tire so of hearing people say, Let things take their course. Tomorrow is another day. I do not need my freedom when I’m dead.’

 

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