Essay On Xenophobia

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he pervasiveness of the media in the twenty first century and its controversial role in shaping public perception in contemporary societies, all point to the need for the assessment of public perception towards immigrants in South Africa and Nelson Mandela Bay (NMB) in particular. This is because xenophobia poses an existential threat to human rights and the economic significance of foreign nationals, not to mention its contravention of the constitution of the country. Since the first printing press started running in Gutenburg, Germany, in 1653, media‟s contribution to human development and the part it has played in the construction of public perception have been occurring simultaneously along several storylines (Locksley, 2009:5). From…show more content…
The majority of newspaper articles that been investigated were either biased against foreign nationals or used inflammatory and anti-immigrant misnomers to label them (Danso & McDonald, 2000:124). Those most guilty regarding these criticisms, are the tabloids (the Daily Sun, –the biggest newspaper in the country with 4 million readers; The Voice, Daily News and Sunday Sun among others), popular among the previously maginalised section of South African society. Today, this constituency accounts for most of the xenophobic attacks which occur. Those criticisms most often heard concern the tabloids penchant to peddling sensationalism, reproducing anti-immigration stories, giving space to anti-immigrant political statements, even giving unrestricted freedom to xenophobic reporters (Herman, 2008:1; Maharaj, 2008: 7). On the 29 May, shortly before the 2008 the nationwide xenophobic attacks subsided, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) together with the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CorMSA) laid a complaint to the press ombudsman against the Daily Sun, this for a series of stories it ran leading up to and also during the attacks. The articles violated “individually and collectively” several clauses of the South African Press Council Code. According to the complaint, Daily Sun‟s “reporting legitimates the recent violence by perpetuating stereotypes of foreign peoples.”

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