Media credibility, fake news under the spotlight

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Over the next few days the state of media, globally, is being discussed during the World Media Economics and Management Conference in Cape Town.

This is the first time in 30 years that the conference is being held in Africa. The issue of fake news has been highlighted.

Thandi Smith from Media Monitoring Africa (MMA)says with this being a growing trend especially on digital platforms, it should push recognised media houses to be stricter and adhere to credible and quality reporting standards.

“Talking about the SABC and what happened in 2016 and why it happened. Talks about other mainstream media and issues of credibility and what needs to be done.”

She says there has always been campaigns to discredit legitimate news and to discredit politicians and shape the narratives. “We’re just seeing the growth of technology and the growth of digital platforms that is at an exponential. So because of those elements, we do have a credibility crisis. Media need to do more about brand recoginition about who they are and adhere to basic codes of quality and ethical journalism.”

Veteran Journalist, Phil Molefe says “Talking about set policies and those policies being followed. Talks about all media houses having set policies – but it’s the ensuring of implementation that is important.”

The uprise of digital technology has been highlighted as one of the key problems in dodgy news dissemination. This conference has encouraged quality and truth of news amongst all these changes for journalism integrity.

Conference director, Francis Mdlongwa says “Talking about what the conference is about and the changes thereof in terms of Facebook etc.”

These and other issues affecting the media will be part of the agenda at the World Media Economics and Management Conference in Cape Town.

The upcoming 2019 general elections will once again put the spotlight on media credibility. MMA found the national broadcaster, the SABC  guilty of bias in its reporting in 2016’s local government elections.

Delivering on its mandate of informing, educating and entertaining its audience, has become more challenging for the media.

Changes in the landscape through digital and online platforms have meant that some media rules are often flouted or ignored.

Measuring media consumption, the strategic management of audiences and the media adapting to change in a globalised world are some of the issues that will be discussed by the conference.

The conference ends on Wednesday.