Media & Technology

The media play an important role as information mediators in today's world, occupying an important space where  public debates about national and international issues take place. SACSIS seeks to understand the role and the impact of the mainstream media in achieving public interest journalism.

Cellphone Pricing Wars: Regulation Matters, but Ownership Matters More

Picture credit: Greg Laden Jane Duncan - Most South Africans are aware of the public spat between South Africa’s largest cellphone operators, MTN and Vodacom, on the one hand, and the smaller cellphone operators and the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) on the other. The spat relates to Icasa’s attempt to bring down the cost of communications by gradually reducing the Mobile Termination Rates, or interconnection rates, through regulations. These are the rates that one network operator...

The ICT Policy Review: Where Is the Boldness of Vision?

Picture credit: Movies-n-Posters Jane Duncan - Sick and tired of too much foreign content on television and too much political meddling in the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC)? Fed up with some of the most exploitative communications costs in the world? Well, now is your opportunity to say and do something out these problems, in theory at least. The Department of Communications is reviewing all policies impacting on the Information and Communications Technology (ICT), and Parliament intends to review the laws as well. This...

Adversarial Journalism in a Corporate World

Picture credit: Glenn Greenwald courtesy Gage Skidmore/flickr Michael Albert - Glenn Greenwald and Michael Albert discuss the difficulties of doing good journalism within the confines of mainstream media, secrecy and corporations and Greenwald's new media project - The Intercept. MICHAEL ALBERT: Glenn, you have been asked over and over about journalism, with the questions often coming from folks eager to somehow discredit you as being too concerned or too involved, and therefore not reliable as a journalist. So I have a question for you about journalism - but coming...

The SABC and the Problem of Political Control

Picture credit: Wikipedia Jane Duncan - And another one bites the dust. Yet another Group Chief Executive Officer (GCEO), Lulama Makhoba, has left the beleaguered South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) before her term of office expires. Speculation has been rife that her position had become untenable given the growing power of Chief Operating Officer (COO), Hlaudi Motsoeneng. This leadership saga has grabbed the headlines, eclipsing another, less-well publicised process, the SABC’s editorial policy review. The...

Is Facebook Flirting with Fascism?

Picture credit: Wikimedia Commons Ben Norton - Is Facebook flirting with fascism? The question might prove difficult to answer with a resounding “yes or no,” but, to those who have been keeping track of its recent censorship practices, the answer appears to lean heavily toward the affirmative. On 9 January 2014, after over five years of operation, popular Facebook page Anarchist Memes was permanently taken down by Facebook. With approximately 90,000 likes and hundreds of comments each day, Anarchist Memes established itself...

The Enduring Appeal of Socialist Ideas

Picture credit: General secretary of Numsa, Irvin Jim courtesy You Tube. Jane Duncan - At its special national congress last month, the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (Numsa) took a significant decision not to support the ruling African National Congress (ANC) in the next elections. Numsa is the largest union affiliated to the troubled Congress of South African Trade Unions, and its clout is considerable, so its decision is a turning point for the country’s politics. Numsa supports socialist ideas and, as a result, at the congress, it resolved to...