Former South African President, Nelson Mandela, reminded us in 1994 that: “A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.” 16 years into democracy, opposition parties, civil society, activists and other stakeholders are facing new realities associated with our democracy - the proposed Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT).
freedom of expression
The South African Chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA), has been deeply alarmed at the contents of the Protection of Information Bill and the proposals by the African National Congress (ANC) to set up a statutory Media Appeals Tribunal. MISA-SA fears that both will clamp down on the free flow of information and the media's ability to gather and publish information for the benefit of the public.
In 2009 the Unemployed People’s Movement (UPM) submitted a request in terms of the Promotion of Access to Information Act of 2000. We filled in the forms in January 2010 requesting all the documents pertaining the hiring of Human Resource Manager Mr Ndwayana, including the information pertaining the hiring of Library East cleaner. We submitted the request because we were quite aware that in terms of the hiring policy, a candidate who gets the highest score must be eligible to fill the vacant post.
The South African chapter of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA-SA) is deeply concerned with the host of legislative and policy proposals under discussion. The Broadcasting Bill, Protection of Information Bill and Media Appeals Tribunal are significantly threatening media freedom in South Africa. The proposed legislation and policy seeks to oversee and control how the media must be regulated.
Defend and Advance the Freedom of Expression for All!
AIDC Statement on the threats to Press Freedom
Press Freedom is a right enjoyed by a privileged minority of South Africans. Our print media is controlled by a cartel of four corporations. Broadcast Media is dominated by the SABC. The profiteering of private media and commercialization of the SABC have seen the mass media catering to the expression and information needs of lucrative markets (LSM 8- 10) representing under 15% of South Africans.
South African journalists have launched a campaign to fight what they say is an attempt to curtail media freedoms in a nation known for one of Africa's freest and most open Constitutions.
In a declaration published in all main Sunday newspapers, the South African National Editors' Forum says media restrictions proposed by the African National Congress threaten free expression that is the ‘lifeblood’ of the country's democracy since the end of apartheid-era rule in 1994.
6 August 2010
A free press is essential to democracy, transparency and the attainment of equality
6 August 2010
The FXI views recent developments in the media environment as cause for considerable concern.
9 August 2010
Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) is deeply concerned about the disproportionate and unbalanced accusations about the print media and its journalists made by the ANC in its discussion document: 2010 - Media Transformation, ownership and diversity.
MMA acknowledges that there are key issues facing the print media:
- Concentration of ownership vs. the need for diversity of ownership
Government is under criticism from civil society organisations (CSOs), the media and opposition parties over the Protection of Information Bill.
The Bill, meant to replace an apartheid-era law dating from 1982, includes some problematic (potentially unconstitutional) elements that limit the media’s right to information and could see investigative journalists face up to 25 years in jail for publishing information of ‘public interest’.