OPINION|The Digital space has created new voices and a new narrative


By Ntsako Shivambu

Social Media has brought a lot of changes in our lives; it has impacted both negatively and positively to the Media Industry.

Publications have closed down due to the digital era and normal printed formal is steadily declining. The social discourse and the narrative has changed. The society is more informed and drives the headlines. Media get news from social Media.

The recent announcement of closure of Bona Magazine; and Daily Sun limiting distributions in coastal provinces clearly shows that the future of print media hangs in balance. 

There has been serious accusations made by Mail and Guardian; and the Daily Mavericks against Social Media commenters and influencers who have questioned many of their stories. Amabungane claimed that some are paid by Russia to push certain narratives; which saw twitter abuzz with hashtag #Amabunganemustfall. 

What Daily Mavericks and Mail and Guardian is missing is that social media has given people the voice outside the controlled narrative by the media house which drove a certain narrative and crucified people who failed to defend themselves.

The investigative stories that seek to uproot corruption done by a certain race in government yet billions of Rands continued to be looted by private companies who evaded tax.

Private entities benefited from PIC and appeased its executive with huge salaries and bonuses. Ironic that Edcon which recently went on business rescue is back again struggling; the collapse of African Bank; the Steinhoff saga; the long list of white owned companies that front their maids who work for the owners of the companies for BEE patners. 

The White owned media must relook how they conduct themselves; they might have the resources to spread the propaganda and drive the type of narrative they desire but it’s only a few who will consume and agree with them. There is a serious backlash against their narrative; when it suited them they supported the lockdown and the ban of alcohol and tobacco. The ban is now hurting the pocket of the big white owned conglomerates now there is a sudden series of articles in support of unbanning. 

It is Black people who will die in the frontline when the government acts irresponsibly. Indeed the owners do not care; they will replace the sick and the dead with new employees but the Black communities will bear the brunt for decades to come. Families will perish and the owners will still laugh all the way to the Bank.