SA divided on tribunal, info bill - survey

2011-05-31 22:31
Johannesburg - Thirty-one percent of adults living in urban areas are in favour of the proposed Media Appeals Tribunal and 31% of the protection of information bill, according to a survey.

Thirty-six percent of people disagreed with the statement "You support the idea of the ANC’s proposed media appeals tribunal" whilst 33%  did not have an opinion, according to the TNS research survey released on Tuesday.

Twenty-nine percent of people disagreed with the statement "You support the idea of the protection of information bill". Forty percent "didn't know".

TNS surveyed 2000 adults living in urban areas in February, 2011. Of the 2 000, 1 260 were black, 385 whites, 240 coloured and 115 Indians/Asians.

In September 2010, 81% felt that it was important to have independent tv, radio stations and newspapers so that people received unbiased news. Seven percent of people disagreed.

There was a significant difference between race groups.

According to the survey 41% of blacks, 13% of whites, 13% of coloureds and 20% of Indians/Asians agreed that there should be a media appeals tribunal.

Thirty-three percent of blacks, 30% of whites, 39%of coloureds and 50% of Indians/Asians said "don't know".

Twenty-seven percent of blacks, 38% of whites, 21% of coloureds and 39% of Indians/Asians did not support the protection of information bill.

The survey showed that people in Johannesburg felt more positive about the media appeals tribunal and protection of information bill. People on the East Rand were more opposed to it.

Those in Cape Town felt more negative about the media appeals tribunal.

TNS said most of the regional differences were due to the differing racial compositions of the different areas.

There were also large differences between the different language groups, and even within the black language groups, with regards to the appeals tribunal.

"It is clear that people are divided on the issues of information protection and a media appeals tribunal," TNS said.

"However, it is also evident that many people are not clear on what these measures actually mean: the need for much more education and debate is evident."

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