Political analyst Ralph Mathekga says the lack of equitable access to information is proliferating the spread of fake news in South Africa.
The Institute for the Advancement of Journalism is hosting a dialogue with industry players on how fake news has changed the profession’s landscape.
The discussion has also probed who stands to benefit from these distortions and how those in the profession can deal with cyber security.
Mathekga says he believes the journalism profession in South Africa is under siege.
“And the biggest struggle in South Africa is who has access to influencing the public. We all know one of the reasons why the governing party does not have a problem with what the jour-nalists report; is because it doesn’t reach the majority of the people… so it doesn’t matter.”
Wits journalism professor Franz Kruger says while there have always been lies there is now a more deliberate attempt to spread incorrect information.
The panellists agree that social media has fast-tracked the ability for those to spread false news and there is a need for journalists to interrogate the quality of their work.