The writer says people like Gauteng premier David Makhura is always portrayed positively in the media compared to the EFF's Julius Malema and Floyd Shivambu.
Media plays an essential role in informing, educating and entertaining the nation. For instance, the Fourth Estate has exposed corrupt activities (which ran into billions), both in the public and private sectors - though the focus was more on government because it uses taxpayers' money.

However, in the recent past, the media has been making news for all the wrong reasons. This has, to a certain degree, compromised the integrity of the media. As a result, the nation is fast losing faith in this important institution. The growing phenomenon of fake news is not making things easier.

Not long ago, the controversial and talented journalist Ranjeni Munusamy was reported to have benefited from the crime intelligence slush fund. Munusamy has since denied the allegations and is fighting tooth and nail to clear her name. In the meanwhile, she has been suspended by her employer, Tiso Blackstar Group. But I digress.

In South Africa, as in other countries, the media treats political leaders differently. It has its favourites and those it favours less - and it's showing it. Whatever happened to media objectivity? There is no such thing as media objectivity, it appears.

One fascinating personality that the media always gives space and airtime (undeservedly so) is the BLF leader, Andile Mngxitama. Mngxitama leads a movement of a few people, yet he is always on the news. On the other hand, leaders of small political parties who have seats in Parliament don't enjoy the same coverage. Is that fair?

The EFF leader Julius Malema is the media's least favourite political figure. So is Malema's deputy, Floyd Shivambu. The EFF leader and his deputy Shivambu show scant respect for the Fourth Estate. But is that enough reason to portray them in a negative light? There is no easy answer.

Interestingly, the media is less critical of the ANC Gauteng leaders, especially those serving in the legislature. It seems to hold Premier David Makhura in high regard. The Gauteng MEC for Education Panyaza Lesufi is the media's darling. Lesufi is hardly reported negatively in the media. Are they favourites?

The media should not be seen as biased. It should also not be viewed as pushing an agenda of a certain political party. Instead, it should strive to be objective, even though it is difficult. Otherwise, society will lose trust in it.