Transparency in government and media freedom

I watched a video produced by the White House which I found really interesting for a couple reasons.

West Wing Week: 8/20/10 or “Turkey Turkey and a Jammer” from The White House on Vimeo.

This week, travel with the First Family to Panama City Beach, Florida for a weekend of swimming, mini-golf, and meeting with local business owners. Next up, the President hits the road traveling to Milwaukee, Seattle and Columbus to talk to business owners and families about the economy.

The video is a pretty transparent political/PR tool but it also speaks to a level of transparency in the US government which we don’t really see here in South Africa. What we increasingly see in South Africa is intolerance for media scrutiny of what our government officials are doing and how they abuse our trust.

The ANC sees itself as synonymous with government and media freedom has become more about opposition to the ruling party than holding the government to account for its actions. We saw that in the Mzilikazi wa Afrika arrest – he was interrogated about his opposition to the ANC, not government and even then, why is that an offence? The ANC doesn’t seem to like being subject to scrutiny, perhaps because its support base may find out the extent of the ANC’s betrayal?

I keep talking about how we are living in a real life Animal Farm and the pigs are starting to behave exactly like the farmers they forced out. Now, more than ever, we need a vigilant and active press. If the media is shut down by the ANC’s efforts to curb a free press, we will be right back where we were 30 years ago with a new National Party, censorship and darkness. We are on the edge of an abyss and this is its face:

Image source: Julius Malema: Role Model or Menace to Society?



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