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Tuesday, 19 October 2021

Academic to serve on new working group

OPPORTUNITY:Sisanda Nkoala will draw on her work as a Media Studies academic OPPORTUNITY:Sisanda Nkoala will draw on her work as a Media Studies academic

 An academic in the Media Department is a member of a new working group on strategies to address mis/dis/mal-information in South Africa.

Sisanda Nkoala serves on the multi-stakeholder working group in her capacity as a public representative of the South African Press Council and said she would “no doubt” draw on her work as a Media Studies academic.

The mandate of this working group is, among others:

  • To develop an evidence base on the causes, forms and disseminators of mis ­and/or disinformation and mal-information in South Africa.
  • To map existing laws, policies and initiatives aimed at addressing mis- and/or disinformation and mal-information in South Africa.
  • To understand the potential impacts and risks that mis- and/or dis-information and mal-information pose to democratic processes, including all elections, in South Africa.
  • To engage relevant stakeholders and experts on responses to mis- and/or disinformation and mal-information in South Africa as well as abroad and identify the roles and responsibilities to be played by such stakeholders.

“The working group is a promising sign that the issue of mis and disinformation is on government’s agenda and the need to tackle it using research as well as practical strategies that involve various stakeholders bodes well for balancing the right to freedom of expression with the requirement to mitigate the harms caused by mis and disinformation,” said Nkoala.

The group recently had its first meeting and aims to complete its work over the next 12 months.

“To me personally this is a great opportunity to draw on my research expertise in media, as an academic in this field, as part of a group that will influence the country’s response to mis- and disinformation. As a member of the Press Council, it is also a great opportunity to hopefully shape policy on the issue and ensure that our public discourse is not polluted by mis-and disinformation.”

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za