Monday, 26 July 2010

Media wobbly continues...

... may turn to out to be more than a wobbly? One should always be extra sceptical about journos when they're reporting on their own problems (especially when many have personal axes to grind with various spokespeople, Floyd Shivambu in particular), but there's a pretty consistent and long history to this, and nothing I've read so far seems outrageiously senstational. I am officially CONCERNED.

From Legal Brief:

"These are turbulent times for media freedom, and the ANC is resolute in its determination to shackle the press – either through its proposed media tribunal or legislation such as the proposed Protection of Information Bill, or both, writes Legalbrief. The media has been warned that the proposed tribunal could include measures to imprison journalists or force them to pay millions of rands in fines. Outlining ANC thinking on the tribunal, the party’s national spokesperson, Jackson Mthembu, told the Mail & Guardian the tribunal would be ‘independent of the ANC and of the state’, but it would have the power to punish journalists found wanting. ‘If you have to go to prison, let it be. If you have to pay millions for defamation, let it be. If journalists have to be fired because they don't contribute to the SA we want, let it be,’ he said. But he was adamant that no changes to the Constitution were envisaged and that international perceptions of SA’s commitment to press freedom would not be tarnished. A proposal that the tribunal should have the same standing as Chapter Nine institutions, currently including the Public Protector and the SA Human Rights Commission, is on the table."

Mail and Guardian report here.

1 comment:

Alex said...

I am also officially concerned, especially about the new proposed Protection of Information Bill. I am happy to let call center agents still bug me to maintain press freedom.