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Motsoeneng once again under fire for media statements

Anton Harber says it’s worrying that the SABC boss believes the media’s role is to influence the public.

The SABC's Hlaudi Motsoeneng. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

PRETORIA - South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) boss Hlaudi Motsoeneng has again come under fire for his comments about the media and for reiterating his call for the sector to be regulated.

Motsoeneng was speaking on kykNET this week, where he claimed it is the role of the media "to influence the mind-set of people".

He also claimed that reporting on crime encouraged young people to commit crime.

Wits University journalism professor Anton Harber says its worrying that the SABC boss believes the media's role is to influence the public.

"It's required to be absolutely neutral in conveying information and not to influence them in anyway."

At the same time, Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird says Motsoeneng's claims are baseless.

"One of the most striking things was the complete absence of evidence supplied for any of the assertions made."

Bird has questioned whether it's appropriate for him to be discussing editorial matters.