race for journalists: critical reflections on the South African Human Rights
Commission inquiry into media racism.
journalists report race and racism was at the centre of the South Africa's Human
Rights Commission Inquiry into racism in the media. A critical analysis of the
conceptual assumptions in the Inquiry's Final Report, however, reveals serious
limitations to the enterprise. In particular, the flawed conceptualisations
plus the generalised character of the findings are of little help in assisting
the momentum of eradicating racism in South African media, and for linking race
transformation to issues of class, gender, sexual orientation and xenophobia.
This article identifies the problems as a race essentialism and a racism relativism,
and argues instead that journalists need the concept of racialisation in order
to change their reporting. The argument upholds the desired role of the South
African media as one that contributes to a non-racial, as opposed to a multi-racial,
submitted for publication in journals:
Critical Arts; Race, Gender, Class.
Guy Berger, June 2001
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