Media is very crucial and powerful. And just as it is obtainable in several other parts of the world, media in South Africa is also in different forms and types. From print media, to radios, television, social media, and so on. However, irrespective of what form and type it is, media can have impact on multitudes all around the country.
Hence, the roles of media in South Africa revolves around communication purposes, entertainment, taking the role of a watchdog to the government, creation of awareness and sensitization, as well as socialization.
Roles Of Media In South Africa
Here are prominent roles of media in South Africa:
Indeed, this is still the primary role of media in the society. Media, even from decades before now, have been a strong tool and vehicle to disseminate information from one person to another. It becomes possible to relay whatever it is, even without having to be in the same geographical location at a time.
Radios, newspapers and televisions are used to disseminate different kinds of information to millions of South Africans living in different parts of the country. Many folks in local communities are still reached through traditional radios.
Today, individuals can discuss with mobile phones despite being miles apart. If you want to send something to someone in another province in real time, just as it is happening right now, you can give them a call, or send them via the internet (social media platforms like Facebook, WhatsApp, etc).
Humans love entertainment for different reasons, and this is one of the core things the media has to offer which has made it a sweetheart to many folks in the country. Media offers relaxation, which is healthy when in appropriate measures.
People can watch movies and other things (reality shows, etc) on Television. They can read interesting and relaxing magazines. They can relax and get entertained on social media (particularly YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Snap chat, and the rest).
Newer and innovative forms of media has brought specialised forms of entertainment to the doorsteps and palms of many in South Africa, and they won’t even have to break the bank to access them. For instance, with a little amount of money, you can decide to watch an American comedy or action film with your smartphone while on your bed somewhere in South Africa.
3. A Watchdog To The Government
Aside entertainment, media plays even a greater and more serious role in the society. Remember, South Africa is a democratic country. And one of the trademarks of democratic countries lies in the freedom of the media. Hence, the media can easily play the role of a watchdog for accountability of democracy.
It is well known that governments, at different points, won’t mind taking steps that are not consistent with the demands of the people. Therefore, even the government is in need of a bonafide and powerful watchdog to keep it on its toes and on track. This is one crucial role of media, and it is part of the dividends of democracy.
Hence, in South Africa, the media can ensure the implementation of manifestos of government, particularly for those who decided to tilt the path of irresponsibility and corruption. Therefore, media has been playing its own role in reducing the level and extent of corruption.
It is very helpful as media keeps creating awareness to the public against malpractice and corruption. This is why certain political figures are scared of the media. But as media is allowed to function in a responsible and fair way, it monitors the government (at all levels), evaluate their every political and governmental actions, prompting the officials to be moretransparent and accountable in their approach.
4. Creation Of Awareness And Sensitization
Media can shape the mindset and perspectives of people, and make them eager to align to a specific direction. Media is a channel through which the people can be made aware of whatever you want them to be attached with. It is indeed a strong medium of sensitization.
Different organisations with different ideologies are using media to pass across their agendas to the people, through different programs and initiatives. The government can utilise media to sensitise the people of its different policies and how these will affect them.
Some agencies in the country can decide to reach out to folks in rural communities through the local radio, and get them enlightened of their rights. In South Africa today, these things are being carried out through different channels, depending on the particular audience being aimed at. If an organisation is reaching out to university students for instance, with the intention of encouraging them to partake in elections, the best channel will be through social media. With a successful campaign, you will be amazed at the end result.
Media can shape the attitude and behavior of so many in the country, and it doesn’t matter what age bracket they belongs to. For instance, the continual exposure to the different characters in movies can affect the culture and behaviour of many viewers. This definitely will influence family relations, and even in the society at large.
The roles of media in South Africa can’t be quantified nor overemphasised. Media can make anyone what the controller wants them to become – just in summary of how powerful a tool it is.