NEWS & ANALYSIS

The importance of alternative media - Rational Standard

Daniël Eloff says its role is not just to hold govt in check, but to also keep political narratives true to reality

Since the dawn of the Internet, alternative media has taken various shapes and forms. Academic definitions state that alternative media differs from established or dominant types of media in terms of its production, distribution and content. In the South African context, alternative media entails that these sources of news do not follow the flow of mainstream media. Alternative media in South Africa has grown to launch different narratives in a time where many feel that their voices are not heard through the clutter of political correctness, transformative rhetoric and the general disregard for objectivity.

The boundaries between conventional and alternative media have become blurred in recent years, creating favourable circumstances for new publications. Newspapers have ventured into digital video production and radio stations have their own online news content to read. As mainstream media try to monopolise the newly-created possibilities in media, cracks were left which alternative media now fills (and even expands). This is simply how the market works. As soon as a demand for something arises, it will often be met with somebody or something which will meet that demand.

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