The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) has voiced concern
over governmentÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s understanding of the mediaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s role in fighting
corruption after Public Service and Administration Minister Geraldine
Fraser-MoleketiÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢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 mediaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s focus on high-profile corruption cases created a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œnegative psychosisÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â that SA was generally corrupt.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œIt is unfortunate that the minister appears to have so little appreciation of media in society,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Raymond Louw, chairman of the media freedom committee at Sanef, said yesterday.
The comment illustrated a ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œlack of understandingÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â on the ministerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s part, he said.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œCorruption is not a perception, it is a reality,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â he said, and the ministerÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢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 ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œcritical massÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â coverage.
ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œThe media is a mirror of society,ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â Louw said, and ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã…â€œgetting rid of corruption comes about only from maximum exposureÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã‚Â.
Click here to read the full report, posted on Business Day's website.