The battle to control ‘the message’ through the media has intensified ahead of the local municipal elections taking place later this year.
And while president Jacob Zuma continues to receive a lot of bad press in the country, he is not without allies in the media.
Zuma’s backing from the state-owned South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) and his ‘cosy relationship with the Guptas’, an influential family who own several businesses including the New Age newspaper, have helped counter criticism by opposition parties and negative media coverage, noted Al Jazeera, a Qatar based Media Network company.
Recent reports reveal the extent to which government will go in order to place the country, the ANC, and the president in a positive light.
On the weekend, the City Press revealed that SABC show ‘On the Record’ was canned by the broadcaster after its host Vuyo Mvoko planned to discuss state capture on live TV.
The Sunday Times also recently reported how the SABC banned open lines on its radio talk shows in a bid to stop anti-ANC government callers from voicing their issues in the build-up to local government elections.
The Listening Post, a current affairs programme broadcast on Al Jazeera compiled a report on the complex relationship between Zuma, his government and news outlets in South Africa.