‘Fair, accurate reporting paramount to ensure a free and fair democracy’

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Minister in the Presidency Jackson Mthembu says fair and accurate reporting should remain paramount to ensure a free and fair democracy.

Mthembu was speaking at the National Press Club’s annual Awards, where President Cyril Ramaphosa received the 2018 Newsmaker of the Year Award.

Ramaphosa joins former presidents Nelson Mandela and Jacob Zuma, the Rhino, the Fees Must Fall movement and the infamous Gupta leaks who were once honoured with the award.

Receiving the award on behalf of Ramaphosa in Pretoria on Friday night, Mthembu urged the media industry to safeguard the country’s democracy through responsible reporting.

“Media, including social media has the power to influence our thinking, attitudes, and behaviour. Media must and should also welcome investigative journalism, courage, and commitment to exposing corruption, wrongs, rights, good, the truth, etc. through accurate, factual and fair reporting.”

Chairperson of the Press Club, Thando Mkahubu says choosing Ramaphosa as the 2018 Newsmaker of the year was a no-brainer.

Nominations are judged scientifically in terms of news value and the resulting media coverage created by the nominees.

“The decision to name Cyril Ramaphosa as the Newsmaker was an easy one, and his election as president was dominated by the new dawn or Ramaphoria and Thuma Mina dominated the 2018 news cycle. And following the 54th ANC national conference at Nasrec in 2017, and the resignation of former president Jacob Zuma in February 2018, Cyril Ramaphosa became the 5th president of South Africa; since then he has been a constant feature… he has become a constant feature in political and economic news in South Africa as you can see in the front pages.”