Communications Minister Ayanda Dlodlo says South Africa’s media space can no longer afford to be dominated by only ‘a few big players’ and that more emerging media players need to be supported to ensure diversity.
“Government would do everything possible to throw its weight behind small media companies and new entrants in the industry,” the Minister said on Wednesday night.
She was speaking at the launch of a new online opinion and news analysis publication called Real Politik. The publication, started by former journalists, is wholly black-owned and will give a platform to the “unheard voices” in the country.
It promises to be the voice of the “man on the street”, and although its owners say they will encourage frank discussions on the platform, they want to encourage constructive engagements. The launch on Wednesday night was attended by several top writers, analysts and senior reporters from newsrooms across Gauteng.
“For far too long the media space has been dominated by media houses and media voices with a similar world view,” Dlodlo said.
“When any one viewpoint dominates, it is never good for democracy or society. Civilised nations across the world thrive on plurality of views and the availability of different platforms for citizen participation,” she said.
The minister said the country was yearning for new voices and platforms to tell the South African story.
“Platforms such as RealPolitk, I hope, will ensure that our media space has much needed plurality of voices and of opinion. Plurality and diversity of voices creates informed citizenry that is empowered to make informed choices.”
Minister Dlodlo reminded small players in the industry that institutions such as the Media Diversity and Development Agency were there to assist with funding and technical support.
According to Real Politik founder Caiphus Kgosana, the platform will purely be funded through donors and sponsors.