The 'Democracy and media innovations in South Africa' WJEC syndicate discussion took place in the Africa Media Matrix building on 5 July 2010, involving 18 participants. The expert for the session was Ruth Teer-Tomaselli and it was chaired by Zvenyika Mugari.
Highlights from the session included the definition of democracy, media and innovations; that democracy involved a plethora of choices; That the media make significant contributions to democracy; and that the symbiotic relationship between the media and democracy is crucial in enhancing democratic practice.
The critical areas of concern were the contribution of New Media in facilitating the process of democracy in South Africa in particular and Africa at large, as well as that New Media dispensation and its penetration is crucial in any discussion concerning the media and democracy.
The presenter received great applause from participants and this was followed by a barrage of contributions from participants. Issues that arose included questions like 'What variants of democracy can be addressed and what does ‘old media’ mean?'
The discussion then shifted to the issue of whether or not the media offered any hope to democracy in Africa. There were various sides in the discussion, as issues of ownership and control came up. The discussion will continue in the next session.