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Grocott's Editorial Policy
               Presentation Structure

•   Race definitions
•   SA Media history
•   Grocott‟s context
•   Aims and objectives
•   Methodology
•   Findings
       Presentation Structure cont...

•   Problems
•   Policy
•   Implementation and monitoring
•   Summary
                  Theoretical definitions
• Du Bois(1999) “Race is not scientific or
  biological but is a socio-historical concept.”
• Appiah (1992:13) “there is no such thing as
  race,”... “race biologises culture”
                   Theoretical definitions
• “The concept of human biological races is
  based on false assumption that anatomical
  traits such as skin color and specific facial
  characteristics clutter together in single
  distinct groups of people”(O‟Neil, 2003)
                             Expert Opinion
• “I got my definition of race from forms”
  (Rod Amner, Journalism lecturer)
• “Social conditioning lets us believe in race”
  (Dr Rose Boswell, Anthropology lecturer)
• “Race is one of many identities” (Thabisi
  Hoeane, Politics lecturer)
• “Race is not biologically based, yet it it has
  a lot of social relevance” (Prof Fred
  Hendricks, Sociology lecturer)
                 Expert Opinion cont….
• “The most relevant definition in this
  country is on the basis of ethnicity, however
  in old government ways I am white” (Sally
  Hunt, linguistics lecturer)
              Community Perspectives
• “The Apartheid government defined me as
  Cape colored” („colored man‟)
• “You look at people and you can see what
  race they are” („black man‟)
• “A group of people with similar
  appearances” („European man‟)
             SA MEDIA HISTORY

• Pre-1994: Media allies with government
  and media restricted by government
• Post-1994: New Aims: Democracy,
  equality, representatives
• Media as watchdog
• Grocott‟s Role in the community
• Grocott‟s readership and history
• New Visions
                    Grocott’s role in the
• Community newspaper
• Reports mainly on local news and events
              Grocott’s readership and
• Printout :1 300 and Returns :200
                     Vision for the future
• Economic needs shouldn‟t overshadow
  editorial needs
• Inclusion of relevant information that would
  be useful to all members of household
• Social service advertisement to enhance
  welfare of the community members
• Public watchdog
• Interactive aspect with community by
  increasing contact with readers.
            Grahamstown Population
• Total Grahamstown population: 124 758
• G-town east: 97 210
• Education: none-13.7%, Grade 5-22.3%,
  Grade 6-8 -26%, Grade 9-12 -26.9%, Matric
  6.1%, Other-5%
• Average monthly income- R594
              Grahamstown Population
                      statistics cont...
•   Employment ; 16%-full-time and part-time
•   Casual work:6%
•   School: 40%
•   Pensioners:9%
•   Unemployed:29%
                  AIMS AND
• Of Research
• Of Policy
                    Research Objectives
• To establish how Grahamstown residents
  feel about representation of race in
• To find out Grocott‟s previous actions
  regarding race issues were to decide what
  can be done in the future.
                        Policy Objectives
• To develop a policy that is; functional,
  economical and easy to maintain
• To develop a policy that is which steers
  Grocott‟s away from racist commentary.
• To develop policies which take into account
  the newspaper's history, while giving it
  room to grow in the future.
• Discourse Analysis
• Qualitative research
                      Discourse Analysis
• Analyses of Grocott‟s issues in two time-
• Letters from the community
• Issues of race
                 January to April 1985
• Evidence of race inequality highlighted in
  the language used.
• Examples; Four Dead in Township
  fighting, “Black townships”, “A man”
  “Another Black” High time says MP to all
  race, “people of colour” “ African
  businessmen” “unemployed blacks”.
  “Wouldn‟t it be better if blacks who were
  served by balck businessmen who have
                  January to June 1985
• “Wouldn‟t it be better if blacks who were
  served by black businessmen who have
  common backgrounds with them and know
  their customers needs” Color-coded guide
  for festival
                 4th July to 19th August
• The great goat Debate; Ritual Slaughter;
  “civilizing societies have moved away from
  inhumane practices in the name of tradition
  and religion” “cruel customs” “morally
• Variously based cultural beliefs; “Some
  cultural groups or subgroups are closer to
  their primal identities and barbaric roots
  than others”
                     Qualitative Research
•   Structured interviews
•   Questionnaires
•   Observation
•   Academic literature
• Discourse Analysis: „evidence of race‟
• Qualitative research: „definition of race‟
• Language problems
• No set definition for race
• Business owners come from a diversity of
  backgrounds so it made it to reach a
• The tendency to be politically correct and
  not entirely honest about views on race

• Content
• Approach to content

• Ensure diversity of sources and sensitivity
  to many perspectives and opinions
• Targeting G-town communities and
  servicing their needs: “Diversity of the
  media is a sign of the country‟s
  democracy.”(MDDA, 2001)
• The editor is responsible for the
  maintenance of the policy
                  Approach to content

• Journalists must understand their
• Trained in research
• Realize relevance and consequence
  mentioning race
• Avoid cultural and racial stereotypes
        Approach to content cont...

• The language must be free of codes
• Consult
                   AND MONITORING
• Training in language sensitivity
• Ethics and style guide to include to include
  do‟s and don‟ts of “racial” reporting
• Editorial meetings to discuss racially
  problematic issues
• Reaching and keeping in contact with the
                     AND MONITORING
•                                        cont...
    Publication of policy and alert community
  as to what to expect
• Policy should be checked by an external
  media association such as PDU
• Twice a year public forum where
  community members are invited to give
• Grocott‟s to alert the public through
  adequate, in-advance advertising of the
                 AND MONITORING
• “How is Grocott‟s doing?” surveys cont...
• Toll-free number and public opinion boxes
  that are collected on a regular basis
• Race exists in our society and is perpetuated
  by media
• Although there is no biological basis for the
  differences, people have the inherent
  tendency to classify themselves in terms of
                      SUMMARY cont...
• In order to combat this, Grocott‟s needs to
  be sensitive and open-minded to the
  diversity of the community that they cater
                            THE END

• Roxanne Dingwall-Fordyce, Badumile
  Duma, Constance Mokgoantle, Tashne
  Singh, Asha Speckman, Ivana Vasic, Vanya

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