An evaluation of media’s role in de-popularizing and influencing political attitudes towards Jacob Zuma: collating events leading to his removal

  • J.O. Maseng
  • C.T. Koosentse
  • K.J. Ani
Keywords: Media, political attitudes, party politics, Jacob Zuma and South Africa


Media has for decades been and still remains a significant instrument for societal socialisation. In most recent times, the media in South Africa has come to occupy a critical space in shaping political opinions as well as attitudes. While various scholarly works have documented the role of media in the political landscape of societies, not much has been written recently by scholars regarding the contribution of media in de-popularising of politicians, in particular the former South African President Jacob Zuma. Therefore, this paper examines how the growing participation of media in the transmission of principles, moral standards and values, resulted in citizens being more vocal regarding their dissatisfaction, which led to constant national calls for the removal of the former president Jacob Zuma. The qualitative study uses secondary sources to identify the dynamics of media reinforcement of Jacob Zuma declining popularity. The study found that the media used its agenda setting role to negatively undermine Zuma’s popularity and influence public opinion about him and his leadership dynamics. The study therefore recommends the need for developmental journalism, which will help in advancing transformational leadership under President Ramaphosa and the future leaders of the country.

Keywords: Media, political attitudes, party politics, Jacob Zuma and South Africa


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eISSN: 1596-9231