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Journalists at major media houses in South Africa use Twitter as a journalistic tool for crowd sourcing, breaking news events, live blogging and to balance, check and cultivate sources. This paper analyses the use of the social network platform by the top 500 South African journalists. The findings suggest that pluralism and openness are important characteristics of the South African Twitter network. Although two strong sub-networks can be detected, we conclude that they give structure to the network and enhance the role of journalists in public debates and democratic decision-making. This is shown in the analysis of three trending news topics related to politics and crime. The last trending topic of the study questions the process of the individualization of journalism through Twitter. The paper concludes by confronting its generic findings from the perspectives and opinions of leading journalists and editors.

It is a question I ask myself – as a man and as a President. We know that like South Africa, the United States had to overcome centuries of racial subjugation. As was true here, it took the sacrifice of countless people – known and unknown – to see the dawn of a new day. Michelle and I are the beneficiaries of that struggle. But in America and South Africa, and countries around the globe, we cannot allow our progress to cloud the fact that our work is not done. The struggles that follow the victory of formal equality and universal franchise may not be as filled with drama and moral clarity as those that came before, but they are no less important. For around the world today, we still see children suffering from hunger, and disease; run-down schools, and few prospects for the future. Around the world today, men and women are still imprisoned for their political beliefs; and are still persecuted for what they look like, or how they worship, or who they love. We, too, must act on behalf of justice. We, too, must act on behalf of peace. There are too many of us who happily embrace Madiba’s legacy of racial reconciliation, but passionately resist even modest reforms that would challenge chronic poverty and growing inequality. There are too many leaders who claim solidarity with Madiba’s struggle for freedom, but do not tolerate dissent from their own people. And there are too many of us who stand on the sidelines, comfortable in complacency or cynicism when our voices must be heard.

Barack Obama’s speech at Nelson Mandela’s memorial service

On Wednesday 3 October 2012, the Press Council of South Africa announced sweeping reforms to press regulations at an event at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg. Much stronger public participation in the Press Council of South Africa and its adjudication procedures is the most notable change.
The reforms move the press from self-regulation to voluntary independent co-regulation. This follows years of public debate and deliberations by a task team appointed by the Press Council.

South Africa: Sweeping Reforms to Press Regulations Announced – the OSF Mapping Digital Media report, which covers some of these issues, is here.

On Wednesday 3 October 2012, the Press Council of South Africa announced sweeping reforms to press regulations at an event at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg. Much stronger public participation in the Press Council of South Africa and its adjudication procedures is the most notable change.
The reforms move the press from self-regulation to voluntary independent co-regulation. This follows years of public debate and deliberations by a task team appointed by the Press Council.

South Africa: Sweeping Reforms to Press Regulations Announced – the OSF Mapping Digital Media report, which covers some of these issues, is here.