- In this week's episode of Politics Unmuted, we turn the spotlight on the media industry.
- Journalists have to guard against the unscrupulous, who want to forward their own agenda.
- The media shouldn't become the story, but we should be able to talk about ourselves.
In the sixth episode of Politics Unmuted, News24's political editor Qaanitah Hunter, political reporter Lizeka Tandwa and assistant editor for in-depth news, Pieter du Toit, examine the role journalists play in politics, how they can be used as pawns to promote a specific agenda and how the fourth estate can be subverted for nefarious political ends.
The trio of political hacks self-reflect on the state of journalism in South Africa, and the constant guarding against manipulation.
Du Toit believes political journalism is "fraught with danger, fraught with vested interests and people who want to influence this narrative".
He says we need to learn from the United States, where the media became "so part and parcel of the political environment that it threatened their democracy". And while he warns against the media becoming the story, he says "we should be able to talk about ourselves".
But, as Hunter points out, criticism of other journalists must never be driven by "personal vengeance".
Tandwa, who is at the coalface on a daily basis, says "every source has an agenda that they want to drive".
All three agree that a journalist's allegiance needs to lie with "the reader, the Constitution and the press code".
Politics Unmuted, where our microphones are never muted and we turn up the volume on all things political.