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‘Unbiased media wanted in SA’

DURBAN 091106: NEWSPAPERS: Different print media. PICTURE: SANDILE NDLOVU

DURBAN 091106: NEWSPAPERS: Different print media. PICTURE: SANDILE NDLOVU

Published Jan 18, 2011

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The majority of urban South Africans want an independent, unbiased media that exposes corruption, a survey released on Tuesday has revealed.

According to the survey of 2 000 adults living in metro areas at the beginning of September last year, 81 percent said they agreed with the statement: “It is important to have independent TV stations, radio stations and newspapers so we get unbiased news”.

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This was an increase compared to a similar survey conducted by TNS Research Surveys four years ago when only 73 percent agreed with the statement.

In September 2010 seven percent disagreed with the statement, while 12 percent said they did not know.

Asked whether they agreed with the statement: “The media helps to expose corruption”, 75 percent agreed.

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Thirteen percent disagreed and 12 percent said they were not sure.

In 2006 it was slightly less with 74 percent of the respondents agreeing with the same statement.

The survey revealed that an increasing number of blacks in metropolitan areas believed there should be an independent media, from 69 percent in 2006 to 78 percent in 2010.

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This was followed by Coloureds at 83 percent, up from 70 percent in 2006, and whites at 89 percent, up from 85 percent in 2006.

South Africans of Asian descent showed a slight decline with 84 percent agreeing to an independent media in 2010 compared to 85 percent in 2006.

People in Pretoria and Bloemfontein felt more strongly about this issue while those in Durban and the Vaal Triangle/South Rand were somewhat less concerned.

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On the issue of corruption blacks had the greatest belief in the media to expose it at 75 percent, although this was marginally down on four years ago when 76 percent were of the same belief.

The belief of South Africans of Asian descent and whites that media would expose corruption increased from 78 percent and 65

percent in 2006 respectively to 89 percent and 71 percent in 2010 respectively.

Coloureds' belief in the media's ability to expose corruption fell from 78 percent in 2006 to 73 percent in 2010.

The metro areas surveyed were Johannesburg and environs, Johannesburg, the East Rand, the West Rand, Soweto, the Vaal Triangle/South Rand, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, East London, and Bloemfontein.

The survey did not raise questions of self regulation or ask for respondents' views on a media tribunal, researcher Neil Higgs told Sapa.

The survey had a 2,5 percent margin of error. - Sapa

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