Despite improvement needed in indigenous language media, South Africa's media is beginning to represent the demographics of the country, she said.
North West Premier Thandi Modise applauded South African journalists on Saturday for their high standard of professionalism.
"Journalists are like backroom boys who rarely receive credit for the good work that they do," Modise said in a statement. She said South African journalists consistently demonstrated the highest level of professionalism in the manner in which they did their job.
Modise said it was gratifying to see that the country's media was beginning to reflect and cater for the demographics of South Africa, although improvement was still needed with indigenous language media.
"We are proud to see the range of community media in different languages together with the range of voices that these media platforms orchestrate ... permeate the public sphere."
Her comments came as the country was celebrating Media Freedom Day. The day is celebrated in South Africa as part of what has been popularly referred to as "Black Wednesday".
On October 19 1977 the apartheid government banned three newspapers and detained their editors under the Internal Security Act (of 1950).
Modise said journalists were now able to sleep knowing that their rights are protected under the constitution that had been hailed as one of the best in the world.
"We count on the media to help us educate our people about their rights and concomitant responsibilities, which include all fundamental rights enshrined in the Bill of Rights in our Constitution," she said. – Sapa
On Friday, acting government spokeswoman, Phumla Williams, said in a statement: "Government joins the country's media industry in commemorating Media Freedom Day, which resulted in legislative guarantees of press freedom and editorial independence.”
"The media industry has played a crucial role in transforming South Africa into a democratic state and is currently at the forefront in shaping the public discourse."