n Communicare : Journal for Communication Sciences in Southern Africa - Do the media in South Africa offer alternatives to violence in their coverage of protests?

Special Edition 1
  • ISSN : 0259-0069



Against the backdrop of the many social ills affecting the country, South Africa continues to make strides in the creation of a non-racist, non-sexist and non-violent society. The media's role in this endeavour is important. Hence, this research examined whether the media in South Africa offered alternatives to violence in their coverage of the municipal protests recorded between 2009 and 2011. The research revealed that the media's coverage of these protests was narrow and partial. In order for the coverage to be holistic, it is critical that the media go beyond reporting the violence, its causes and its effects to offering alternatives to violence. However, offering alternatives to violence is not the magic tool to prevent or even stop violence - it is a professional activity that highlights the key issues the media could focus on in order fully to inform the audience in the public interest. It is also about socially responsible media.

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