The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) has voiced concern
over government’s understanding of the media’s role in fighting
corruption after Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine
Fraser-Moleketi’s comments at an anticorruption forum this week, writes Thom McLachlan in Business Day.

Fraser-Moleketi, who chaired the National Anti-Corruption Forum in Pretoria on Monday, said the media’s focus on high-profile corruption cases created a “negative psychosis” that SA was generally corrupt.

“It is unfortunate that the minister appears to have so little appreciation of media in society,” Raymond Louw, chairman of the media freedom committee at Sanef, said yesterday.

The comment illustrated a “lack of understanding” on the minister’s part, he said.

“Corruption is not a perception, it is a reality,” he said, and the minister’s observation that the media was focusing on high-profile cases, such as Jacob Zuma and the Travelgate scandal, was because corruption generally involved high-profile people.

Wadim Schreiner, managing director of Media Tenor, who wrote a study commissioned by Sanef that detailed corruption reporting in the local media, said he questioned the likelihood that corruption would in fact be dropping without “critical mass” coverage.

“The media is a mirror of society,” Louw said, and “getting rid of corruption comes about only from maximum exposure”.

Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.