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Francois Frank Prinsloo
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Media: medium for distortion

14 May 2014, 17:00

The South Africa media is very unsouth africa and very much unafrican in its publications, broadcasts and general feeling. It is a medium that more often than not tells us what to think instead of trying to convey unbiased and neutral view of matters that leave people to decide for themselves. 

The media has done great job at giving a very one sided picture of most things in this country. Like the communists in revolutionary Russia they try to shoot our priests, academics and freethinkers with the most powerful bullet of all – social indignation that dare to dissent.

The media really doesn’t care about the majority or minority opinions of most South Africans but, it acts more like an opinion moulder, a propaganda officer. Sadly it tries to mould our opinions into things which most South Africans don’t support or could not even relate too.

It tries to make us into some beau ideal of progressive foot soldiers fighting injustice and tearing down the “shackles of tradition” instead of just giving us unbiased news for ourselves to debate.

Extremely apt example of this media bullying and suppressing of our opinion is on the gay marriage question – which polls have shown most South Africans still don’t support despite a nearly two decade long avalanche of support for LGBT community from the media with almost no opposition from traditionalists, conservatives or reactionaries.

In my nearly 20 years of existence I have yet to see an article in major news source in South Africa either rejecting the notion of gay marriage or present a decent alternative to the current position presented by the mass media. I haven’t even seen one article even disputing gay marriage in the media sadly. But despite all this the majority of people still feel negatively towards gay marriage. They still stand with their notion of traditional gender roles and their religious believes might it be Christian or Muslim.

This happens on wide range of topics, from gender equality to tribalism. The media kills the debate before it could have even produced something valuable or thought provoking that might work towards understand the problem or ultimately solving it.

It acts more as thought piece for the centre-left and radical social left intellectuals than a true mouth piece for the people. Few editors even hold one ounce of a conservative, traditional, pan-africanists, reactionary or communist opinion nor do they try to give level playing field to these dissenting views, instead they pander to these intellectual elites, these ivory tower quasi-communists whom control the national discourse.

At the expense of the other factions. The media has done in more to harm our respective cultures and damage our collective intelligence than anything else.

Can anyone honestly imagine the outcry from minority groups, special interests groups and human rights groups if a newspaper with reactionary or traditionalist perspective was published in this country? I can imagine an opinion piece about traditional circumcision - What barbarous notion! or an opinion piece on traditional roles of women - Sexist! It would hardly be in print for a week and already it would be dragged to court and sued to oblivion.

The constitution of this country has done superb job at creating a culture of political correctness that is more akin to Orwellian nightmare than true freedom. And we are all the poorer for it. But alas the cries of bigot and ignorance drowns out all opposition. The irony is hardly never lost of those who use the words often.

I have actually gone as far as to use the words in mocking nature with anyone that I don’t agree with but, it is no joking matter and every person that is presupposed to use those words without a second thought should really reconsider their position on those words – bigot and ignorance. I am currently trying to stop that bad habit.

It seems to me that the media would rather prefer to make us zombies and drones to certain segment of society rather than actually allowing us any semblance of free thought and critical thinking.

And we consider it as progress… It just makes me wonder.

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