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Humans

Elsabe – PhD in media studies and a lecturer in journalism – The role of a journalist

Elsabe is currently working at SAE, but has a PhD in media studies and has been a lecturer in journalism for years.

The Sunday Times (SA newspaper) ran a front-page article which was clearly bias. What is the role of a journalist?
I do not understand how the story on the cover of the Sunday Times was biased. I have read the reports, and it seems as best very murky, hearsay and vague.

Nonetheless, the role of a journalist is to protect society against many things, including wrongdoing of Government and State. The role of the journalist is to verify facts, write good reports, do the necessary research, act as the Fourth Estate and inform the citizens of actions of leaders, war, national problems, newsworthy events, commentary, and entertainment news.

Should they be held responsible when their bias incites violence?
How did they incite violence in this story? Of course, reporters cannot incite violence, but sometimes the information they publish will anyway accomplish that.

Is it fair that our media is allowed to act so irresponsibly?
I am not sure what this refers to that our media is allowed to act so irresponsibly? Possibly the editor investigated the story of the reporter/s and found that the information is accurate and can be proved.

I am all for freedom of speech but where is the line?
Freedom of speech means that everybody in any part of the world, but in this instance, South Africa, has the right to know about events and make up their own minds about the fairness of the accusations. If they have done their homework, tried to find out everything they can, and have verified the sources on both sides of the story, it should be objective.

Anything to add?
Accurate journalism implies fairness, balance, objectivity and the truth. It also means to react to dangerous rumours and either prove or disprove it.

Credit to Mia Pepler for this story thank you!