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."

  • SNOTKOP - 2011-06-01 00:10

    Opinion Surveys...ask 1000 people in a particular area a question and get one answer (opinion), ask the same question in another area to another group of people and get another answer (opinion)! The question is who is right & was the survey ever really done to begin with? Surveys are a bit like statistics (E.g. CPI) , your answer will depend on what is included and what is excluded in your calculation, who really believes inflation is at 3,6%? Include the right things and you can have inflation as low as 1 % or even deflation, include the wrong things and you can have inflation running at 20% (E.g elec & fuel, food). Bottomline, it all depends one who`s paying and what answer is required.

      TamaraSays - 2011-06-01 02:20

      Agreed snotkop. All these studies, all the research, all the surveys, are funded by someone, and that someone will always find a way to manipulate the statistics.

      Sizwe - 2011-06-01 07:37

      @Tamar and Snot. And that is my logic for believing in having an independent review body for the media, you cannot be a player and referee in your own game. The second aspect is that money controls opinions and many a people can be manipulated by the owners/shareholders. The media is not sacrosanct.

      paulf - 2011-06-01 07:59

      A survey of 1000 people to population of 49 million? I don't think most of the people asked even know what this bill means or is? This survey does not have any True reflection of how people feel.

      Felix - 2011-06-01 08:10

      @Sizwe, if the bill is passed then the government will be the only player and the ref. Do you even care what happens to your tax money?

      GT - 2011-06-01 08:11

      Sizwe - I have yet to meet the person who I think is qualified to decide what I can and cannot read or listen to. Have you met someone that you think is qualified for you? Be your own filter, trusting someone else to do it is the biggest mistake you can make in life.

      TamaraSays - 2011-06-01 09:26

      Sizwe, censorship, which is what this amounts to, was one of the primary weapons of the NP during apartheid. (Not to mention Hitler during his reign of terror.) No good came of that either, so why on earth would anyone be dumb enough to believe that anything good can come out of this bill? - 2011-06-01 14:37

      Sizwe only refers to 'an independant review body'. Each of the propositions are very different. I agree Sizwe that control and ownership plays a huge role and support the idea of an independant body.. But the bill is a very different story - I oppose that with every fibre of my being.. Let's keep the issues separate because they have different implications.. GT, I'm glad you have your own filter - I like to think I do as well, but remember that not everyone is educated enough to be sceptical and question the information they take in.. Not everyone understand that there is no such thing as ultimate objectivity because we all have an existing perspective, journalist and editors are no exception..

      Sheda Hab - 2011-06-01 19:36

      An educated population ????? No wonder the ANC refuses to educate South Africans. Their support base comes from the ignorant. Roll on New Apartheid. - 2011-06-02 09:28

      It is alarming to think that it would be the case, but an uneducated, ignorant population does serve the ANC's interests.. The bill, if passed as is, is the start of a very slippery slope!!

  • dani.marais - 2011-06-01 02:27

    Way too many "Don't knows" on this extremely important issue! "Don't know" is the statement of ignorance. Surely the media needs to do more to protect their jobs and the public freedom. I'm surprised that the whole industry isn't actively mobilised around this!

      Krolie - 2011-06-01 06:23

      I agree. Nobody has EVER approached me for an opinion, which means it is only a selectec few that participate in these kind of surveys. How about giving SA citizens a chance to vote online on issues like this with just a simple "Yes" or "No" box to tick. Those that do not have access to computers to go to their closest government building (magistrates court etc) throughout SA and vote there online? Enough time (1 - 2 months) must be given so that EVERYONE has a chance to vote. Perhaps someone has a better idea? I just feel that ALL OF US should be able to vote on important issues so that the results aren't just from a little group of choice at that point of time, as they could hardly represent the masses.

  • umlaut - 2011-06-01 07:19

    Surveys can be manipulated-depending on who is the pay master, but lets be thankful we can still have surveys. Imagine the develish control of information where the anc will forbid such information being known-just look at those figure ONLY 31 % IN FAVOUR OF AN ANC PROPOSAL. That will be unacceptable to be published. Arrest those surveyors.!!!

  • Thingamebob - 2011-06-01 07:41

    The Nationalist Party, censored the press and were able to get away with murder,corruption and theft. I read "noseweek" and its good to see what is exposed. Innocent people never need to fear the press but on the other hand, we should be able to easily sue if they get it wrong. The government is supposed to work for us and be held accountable to us, the people

  • Creeky - 2011-06-01 08:00

    The 31% that are Pro the Media Tribunal Bill, all work in Lootfreely House! The "I DON'T KNOW" lot, will change to Pro, after they get TOLD WHAT TO DO, by Lootfreely House!!!! Most people in South Africa NEEDS the ANC to think for them!! So unfortunate!!!! Hense the SAD state of the country!

  • GT - 2011-06-01 08:15

    The general population needs to snap out of it. The very idea that a government wants to roll back into a state of secrecy and media laws should scare the living begezuz out of every man women and dog. People, read this bill, understand what it means in its entirity. It gives extraordinary powers to the most ordinary of civil servants and politicians. The kind of power that can prevent you from sorting out very basic issues or discovering the most important information. This has little to do with real national secrets or security. WAKE UP and STAND UP!

  • george - 2011-06-01 08:20

    SA is not divided on what the ANC wants. 63% of the electorate support ANC programmes as witnessed by the recent local elections. Actually a landslide of voters need ANC programmes. There is no division.

  • Ogre - 2011-06-01 08:44

    Based on the stats in this article, my concern lies with the high percentage of people that "dont know". This is an indication of the lack of understanding of the man on the street on what the impact of government is on their dayly lives. This ammendment will severely limit the very basic thing that anybody needs to make a descision, namely information and facts. We will regress back to the days where we were told by the NP what to do, what to think, who to vote for. This is one step short of being brain washed. Even COSATU have raised serious concerns about this issue as this affects their members greatly. They realise that they will not be able to give their members guidance on important issues with no information available or info that has been sanitised by government. This ammendment will also place the only method of obtaining such information beyond the reach of the poor as they cannot afford the legal costs in appealing to the court for access to information. This will also prevent the common man or employee in a goverment department from exposing criminal activity in government for fear of being jailed. WAKE UP, PEOPLE. We cannot have a goverment that likes to play cards with us while we are blindfolded and then expect to win or break even. How can you place a bet on a horse race or soccer game without the results being published? It is like playing the lotto every week while knowing that the draw will never take place.

      Daryl - 2011-06-01 09:25

      too long... try keep the comment as a comment. - 2011-06-01 11:34

      The dont knows are probably made up of the same lot that voted ANC in the last elections despite non delivery, corruptio, greed, rising rime , declining health and education standards. Nuff said!

  • Sho Fukamachi - 2011-06-01 08:53

    Wow. I where the money came from to do this retarded survey. Surely hope it's not my tax money, then there will be hell to pay.

  • Tsundzuka - 2011-06-01 08:53

    Sanity prevails, its about time the media started being more responsible in their reporting

      Nokka - 2011-06-01 10:38

      But surely there are ways in current laws to address this? Slander, for example. As a journo you can't just lie about people or facts. A journo can be taken to court for this. The laws exist already that covers all these things. There is no need for a new law to make "the media more responsible in their reporting." The only reason why these two new laws are being punted, is because those in power's faults and failures are being shown for the whole world. The media, at the moment, does its job too good.

      Tsundzuka - 2011-06-01 11:24

      Do u have any idea how much it costs to sue a media organisation, they can put a story on the front page claiming you have sex wit animals, it will cost u an arm n a leg just to get a 20 word retraction, bt still ur name is ruined.

      Hans - 2011-06-01 14:37

      Tsundzuka. How often does that happen? The Media Ombudsman recently reported that he receives just a tiny number of complaints each year (something like a couple of hundred) and the vast majority are easily sorted out. So you're prepared to sign off on the slide to fascism just for a handful of errors and complaints about the press? Who then will speak up for you when the tables are turned and you are marched off to the gas chambers? Who will speak up for you and for me when we've all been silenced by corrupt and venal politicians? Who will speak up when YOUR civil liberties are trampled on in the name of the 'revolution' or protecting 'matters of state'? Once they've all been muzzled who will speak up for us????

  • Lab-Rat - 2011-06-01 09:12

    I cannot believe any 'thinking' person would want the tribunal. Maybe the racists and those who are directly receiving from he gravy train but definitely no thinking person.

  • unrealchris - 2011-06-01 10:06

    The only people who can agree with this bill is the people who has something to hide!!

  • nic - 2011-06-01 11:34

    what a load of rubbish????!!!! The whole country is against the bill. It is only the ANC fat cats who is trying to silence the media and pave the path to communism. What pathetic bunch of lies...

  • david vigilant - 2011-06-01 14:21

    Ignorance is bliss.

      StoneAngel - 2011-06-01 15:13

      David - you have hit the nail fairly and squarely on the head - the ignorance of the greater population as to the ramifications of the "Secrecy Bill" is amazing - and the greater population unfortunately includes many educated people who should know better - people are just too mixed up in their own lives to see what is coming - soon they will wake up and then it will be too late. Just wait until it impacts them in some personal way and then we will hear the moaning!

  • robyn - 2011-06-01 15:02

    george you are being droff . Just because 63% voted for the ANC does not mean they agree with everything the ANC does

  • Shrek - 2011-06-02 16:49

    Goodbye Pretoria and hello Harare!!! this is the thin edge of the wedge

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