The Media Monitoring Project (MMP) was the leading organisation monitoring the total output of news in radio, television and print before and during South Africaï¿½s first democratic elections in April 1994. The main objective of the MMP was to monitor the vertical top-down distribution of Information from powerful media institutions to citizens many of whom were first-time voters, the majority illiterate, unfamiliar with the concept of human rights and not accustomed to the language of democracy.
The first democratic election as well as a new political dispensation in South Africa encouraged scholars to study political communication with a renewed interest. At the Potchefstroom University for Christian Higher Education, 275 students were involved in a survey to determine their future expectations and their sources of political information.
Many countries in the developed world are currently being restructured into Post-Fordist economies or 'Information societies'. Communication technology, computers and satelites are now at the cutting edge of socio-economic development. South African decision makers ignore these developments at their own peril. This country sits at a cross-road. Will we see socio-economic and communication policies which facilitate South Africaï¿½s, development into a post-Fordist economy or will the country be trapped into a Fordist backwater? This article argues in favour of South African's taking the plunge into an 'Information society'.
The first Southern African cartoonists were probably the Stone Age Bushmen whose drawings adorn rock faces in this part of the continent. Modern cartoonists may use more sophisticated equipment but their drawings, although on recyclable print, also reflect a particular part of our history. Are editorial cartoons important in the context of a given part of history? The following view of Schoonraad et al (1989:15) provides the answer: ""A collection of cartoons covering a particular period, will present an unequalled graphic history of political and current events"" , They also add that the state of any nation is reflected by its newspaper cartoons.