Communications Minister Faith Muthambi says government will continue to partner with media and other social stakeholders to aance the development agenda of the country.
The Minister was speaking at the opening of the Wits School of Governance Professional Certificate on Government Communications and Marketing Course in Johannesburg on Monday.
She encouraged media to report in a balanced manner on government’s programme of action to reflect not only the shortcomings but successes achieved.
“I gly believe that media, like every other sector of society, are duty bound to contribute to building a better nation where all can prosper.
“We also believe in a culture of mutual respect between government and the media, which is essential if we are to maintain our robust and participatory democracy.
“Along with ensuring access to communication, we also need to simplify our messages and communication so that they resonate with all South Africans,” said the Minister.
The five-month Professional Certificate in Government Communications and Marketing Course is meant for communicators from all spheres of government.
Minister Muthambi said with this training course, government communicators must rise to the challenge and participate in the “battle of ideas”. She said in order to remain relevant, government communicators must be at the forefront of promoting a culture of dialogue and robust engagement across society.
“Together we must ensure that public representatives are constantly in touch with the people. We must ensure that our principals listen to and respond speedily to people’s concerns and needs.
“… We need to explore and find creative ways in which communicators can strengthen participatory democracy in workplaces, schools and in our communities.
“… We need to find … sustainable ways of working with the media to tell the full South African story,” said the Minister.
She said government communicators must be at the forefront of setting the communication agenda. “We are duty bound to ensure that citizens are informed about government policies and programme of action in order to improve their lives.”
Minister Muthambi said the Wits programme will arm government communicators with the knowledge and skills to make a difference, teach them the importance of continuous two-way communication between government and citizen as well as interrogate public activities.
“We are confronted by a brave new world. Social media and technology has enabled every citizen to tell a story. Now through this programme, [communicators] will learn about the power of new media and social media,” she said. – SAnews.gov.za
Source : SAnews.gov.za