Document Type

Book Chapter

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Publication Title

Palgrave International Handbook on Women and Journalism

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Last Page



South African is a beautiful country with a a diverse citizenry at the Southernmost tip of the African continent. But the nation also has a long history of racial struggle, which includes an era of racial segregation, called apartheid that ended formally in 1994 after nearly 50 years of policital oppression and protest. The country today is a land of contrasts. It has a vibrant media scene and one of the most progressive constitutions in the world, guaranteeing equality for all and freedom of the press. Women are breaking through newsroom boundaries, making up about half of the journalism workforce, the majority of those in senior-management positions, and moving up to positions at the top.

Still, some vestiges of the past remain and also enter into the gender dynamics of today's newsrooms and the society they serve. In this chapter, I will provide a brief description and history of South Africa, including its multiple languages and the status of women. This will be followed by a discussion of the features of the media system and the government's relationship to the media. Finally, this chapter will consider the results of the Global Report of the Status of Women in the News Media (Global Report) (Byerly 2011) within the broader context of history, politics, and women's status.


The version of record can be found through World Cat.