Friday, May 28, 2010

Youth Debate Media and Coolpolitics

Pearl Nicodemus

Blogging, facebooking and tweeting – that is how young people communicate these days. On Thursday night they met in Newtown, Johannesburg, to talk about how these forums can be used for the benefit of youth in the media industry.

But this was just a part of what they were discussing. The young people were split into debating teams which mainly consisted of journalism students from the Tshwane University of Technology, myself included. The debate held at Kaldi’s Coffee was organised by an organisation called Coolpolitics

Some of the topics discussed were citizen journalism, how the voice of the youth can become more prominent, how young people can challenge ideas and the state of the media in South Africa.

Their view of the largest broadcaster, the SABC, was not a very good one. The youth present felt the SABC is controlled by the government and that there is a possibility that they are not getting the full picture when it comes to the way the broadcaster imparts information. They feel that the SABC often censors information and reports favourably on government issues.

There were two sides on private media. Some felt more private companies are needed but there were those who felt that they are run by capitalists whose main purpose is to make money.

But at the end of it all everyone was in agreement that the youth has a critical role to play in the media industry. Most felt the youth just needs to tell positive stories rather than focusing on misbehaving and skankily dressed celebrities.

When it was done there was music provided by the soulful, One.

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