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Media

Media

  • SOS Coalition: SOS Welcomes Parliament’s Decision to Extend the Deadline for Nominations to the SABC Board

    The SOS Coalition welcomes Parliament’s decision to extend the deadline for nominations to 6 December 2010. This will allow Parliament to hold its hearing with the SABC Board on 23 November. The Coalition is hopeful that at this hearing Parliament will finally be able to deal with the various corporate governance breaches that have taken place at the SABC. If the various oversight and governance structures including Parliament and the SABC Board are prepared to commit to good corporate governance  and implementing mechanisms of accountability going forward, this will significantly assist in encouraging experienced people with integrity and commitment to stand for the SABC Board.

    There is one further important issue that needs to be considered - we need to carefully look at the gaps in terms of representivity that have been created by the present resignations. As the Broadcasting Act presently states the members of the Board when viewed collectively need to “represent a broad cross-section of the population of the Republic” and need to collectively have a range of skills in broadcasting policy and technology, broadcasting regulation, media law and so forth. As civil society we need to analyse what the gaps are and nominate accordingly. It is also most important that the Portfolio Committee does an analysis of this situation so that the appointment process takes this into consideration.

    For more information:

    Kate Skinner
    SOS Coordinator
    082 926 6404

    Patrick Craven
    Spokesperson
    Cosatu
    082 821 7456

    Matankana Mothapo
    Spokesperson
    Communications Workers Union
    082 759 0900

    Oupa Lebogo
    General Secretary
    Creative Workers Union
    084 511 8763

    William Bird
    Director
    Media Monitoring Africa
    082 887 1370

    Faiza Smith
    Director
    Misa-SA
    076 995 9513

    Hannes du Buisson
    General Secretary
    Bemawu
    082 920 8669     

    Kgomotso Matsunyane and Feizel Mamdoo
    Co-Chairs
    South African Screen Federation
    082 901 2000
    Date published: 
    18/11/2010
    Organisation: 
    SOS Coalition
  • Open Letter to President Jacob Zuma: Protection of Information Bill

    His Excellency Jacob Zuma President of the Republic of South Africa Union Buildings Private Bag X1000, Pretoria, 0001 South Africa BY FAX: +27 12 323 8246 19 August 2010 Your Excellency, We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum, which represent 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries, to express our serious concern at two recent moves by the ruling ANC that seriously threaten press freedom in South Africa. The Protection of Information Bill currently before parliament seeks to replace apartheid-era legislation with far-reaching provisions that would virtually shield the government from press scrutiny and criminalize activities essential to investigative journalism. Under the bill, officials would be empowered to classify any public or commercial data as confidential on vaguely defined "national interest" grounds without having to give any explanation. Such powers could be used to outlaw coverage of such issues as public law enforcement and judicial matters, with political appointees having the final say over which information should be classified. One of the serious deficiencies in the legislation is that there is no provision for a "public interest" defence by journalists and others to support the disclosure of classified information. Anyone found guilty of unauthorized disclosure of official or classified information could face heavy penalties. We are also seriously concerned at an ANC proposal that parliament appoint a Media Appeals Tribunal to adjudicate on complaints against the press. Such a government-appointed agency could be used as an instrument of political censorship, as has happened many times across Africa, and members would inevitably face an inherent conflict of interest. We respectfully remind you that an effective self-regulatory system, including a Press Ombudsman and an Appeals Panel, is already in place and has repeatedly been shown to act with neutrality. We bring to your attention the Declaration of Table Mountain, endorsed at the 60th World Newspaper Congress and 14th Editors Forum in Cape Town in June 2007 and recently signed by Archbishop Desmond Tutu in July 2010. The Declaration of Table Mountain, among other things, calls on African states to promote the highest standards of press freedom in furtherance of the principles proclaimed in Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and other protocols and to provide constitutional guarantees of freedom of the press. We respectfully call on you to ensure that the Protection of Information Bill and the Media Appeals Tribunals proposal are either amended in line with constitutional safeguards for freedom of the press or withdrawn altogether. We ask that you ensure that any future media reform in South Africa fully respects international standards of press freedom. We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience. Yours sincerely, Gavin O'Reilly President World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers Xavier Vidal-Folch President : World Editors Forum ________________________________________ WAN-IFRA is the global organization for the world's newspapers and news publishers, with formal representative status at the United Nations, UNESCO and the Council of Europe. The organization groups 18,000 publications, 15,000 online sites and over 3,000 companies in more than 120 countries. ________________________________________
  • Protection of Information Bill: SA Media Under Attack

    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).

    The Alternative Information Development Centre (AIDC) has criticised the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) for tabling plans to censor and punish the media for reporting on corruption, when they are unable to maintain organisational discipline.

    The AIDC is of the view that instead of striving to extend freedoms and access to information to all South Africans, the ANC-led government is targeting a series of freedoms that will further curtail media freedom.

    “The ‘people shall not govern’ if they are not informed and cannot express their views. There can be no meaningful development or service delivery responsive to the needs of the people without the freedom of expression and information,” states the AIDC.

    Contrary to the ANC's claim that the idea of the statutory MAT will strengthen media accountability, there is a feeling that it will constitute a step towards official media censorship. South Africa already has a self regulatory body in the form of a Press Ombudsman to oversee complaints of violations of the media code of conduct adopted by the Press Council.

    In a recent press statement, 19 civil society organisations (CSOs) called on government to caution relevant authorities against misuse of the power of arrest against those who exercise democratic dissent and to also withdraw the Bill in its present form as it is severely obstructive of people’s right to information. They also want government to take adequate measures to ensure that the right to express freely is protected from encroachments.

    Apart from promoting censorship, activists fear that the proposed Bill and the MAT could also be used to target citizens in the long run. Speaking during the Mail&Guardian Critical Thinking Forum in Johannesburg, Anton Harber, Caxton Professor of journalism and media studies at the University of the Witwatersrand, warned that people and even CSOs will no longer feel free to write news stories denouncing corrupt officials.

    "The minute you give that power to the state or government to make those decisions, it will in the long run have the potential to be used, not only against journalists, but also against other citizens," warned Harber.

    Harber’s view is somehow reiterated by former University of Cape Town chancellor, Dr Mamphele Ramphele, who warned that if enacted, the Protection of Information Bill could well be used to make the society less open and less accountable. Speaking at the recent launch of the Open Society Foundation’s Open Society Monitoring Index, Mamphele maintained that, “Citizens could be deprived of information and, ultimately, freedom of expression would be inhibited, if not choked altogether, for fear of the punitive measures the Bill contains.”

    Botswana and Zimbabwe

    In Botswana, government introduced the controversial Media Practitioners Act. According to CSOs the Act’s right to reply clause threatens the independence of the media in that country. Under the Act, media practitioners are required to register and accredit with the Media Council and allows for stringent fines and imprisonment’ of journalists.

    In Zimbabwe, the imprisonment of journalists and human rights activists after the introduction of the Access to Information and Protection of Privacy Act tells a story of a country with no media freedom. Despite a constitutional provision guaranteeing freedom of the press, the country had deported many foreign journalists.

    We have been reliably informed that journalists are now forced to address President Robert Mugabe as: Head of State and Government, the commander-in-chief of the Zimbabwe defence forces and first secretary of ZANU-PF, Robert Mugabe, when writing news.

    Outside our country, the International Press Institute (IPI), a global network of editors, publishers and journalists, has come to the defence of media freedom in South Africa. In an open letter to President Jacob Zuma, the IPI calls on the country to halt the establishment of a mooted MAT and withdraw or amend the Protection of Information Bill.

    IPI interim director, Alison Bethel-McKenzie, argues that, “...any Media Appeals Tribunal will not be independent. If the MAT is appointed by parliament, it will face an inherent conflict of interest that will skew its rulings in favour of public and party officials and essentially amount to government oversight of the media - which is unacceptable.”

    In conclusion, Reporters Without Borders’ Worldwide Press Freedom Index ranked South Africa in 26th position in 2002 of the countries said to have ‘genuine press freedom’. South Africa was ranked 33rd in 2009, an indication that the country risks reversing the gains it made since the inception of democracy in terms of media freedom.

    - Butjwana Seokoma is information coordinator at SANGONeT.

    Related Links

    Author(s): 
    Butjwana Seokoma
  • Campaign Against Proposed Media Laws

    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.

    The statement, signed by 36 of the country's prominent editors, calls for restrictions posed by the proposed Protection of Information laws and the Media Appeals Tribunal to be abandoned immediately.

    To read the article titled, “SA journalists fight proposed media laws,” click here.
    Source: 
    Mail&Guardian
  • Social Justice Organisations Denounce the Arrest of Sunday Times Journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika

    Press Release

    6 August 2010


    A free press is essential to democracy, transparency and the attainment of equality

    We are organisations that campaign for social justice. The success of our work is dependent on respect for the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights. The right to free expression and freedom of the press and other media are essential components of democracy. That is why they are contained in the Bill of Rights. They are one of the essential means by which all people in South Africa, especially the vulnerable, exploited and poor, can hold government and the powerful private business sector to account.

    This week Mzilikazi wa Afrika, a Sunday Times journalist, was arrested in Rosebank Johannesburg. The circumstances, manner and cause of his arrest all seem to point to intimidation by the state and attempts to suppress freedom of expression.

    The arrest follows the exposure by the Sunday Times of questionable dealings by the National Police Commissioner, Bheki Cele. It comes during a national debate over proposed legislation to curtail press freedom, i.e. proposals for a new Protection of Information Act, changes to the Criminal Procedure Act and the ANC's proposals to establish a media tribunal.
    We therefore unequivocally condemn the arrest of wa Afrika.

    The media in South Africa, as anywhere else in the world, is very powerful and influential. We are not blind to its many shortcomings. The quality of journalism in South Africa is often mediocre. Newspapers, magazines and television sometimes make serious errors, permit unethical advertising and sometimes make false charges against individuals.

    We are concerned that the main media houses are overly concentrated in the hands of a few large corporations and consequently primarily represent the interests of a relatively small affluent portion of the population, thereby paying insufficient attention to the interests of poor and working class people.

    There is undoubtedly a need for a better, more equal and more socially responsible media. There is a need for an informed public debate about the media, which the media should listen to. There is a need to democratise the media. There is a need for civil society oversight of the SABC to ensure that it is truly a public and politically independent broadcaster. There is a need to re-examine the institutions that are meant to govern the media and protect people from it abusing its power. There is a need to strengthen and enforce media ethics and to examine how this can be done.

    But having said all this we restate that the non-negotiable starting point for this discussion is agreement that a free press plays a critical role in holding government, the private sector and their media competitors to account. Draconian anti-media legislation will make this impossible.

    Over recent years there have been many occasions when serious media investigation and publication has helped to root out corruption and, expose wrongdoing and unethical conduct. This is vital to the reconstruction of SA. Thus the exposure and ultimate conviction of corrupt former Police Commissioner, Jackie Selebi, was a direct result of investigative work by the Mail & Guardian and others. Thabo Mbeki's deadly AIDS denialism was justifiably the source of media condemnation. The media's role in highlighting campaigns for social justice is also critical, for example the shortage of school libraries, the rollout of an unsafe circumcision device in Kwazulu-Natal, the failure to provide private toilets in parts of Khayelitsha, the harassment faced by sex workers and hate crimes against foreigners, women and gays and lesbians.

    Unfortunately, we believe the crackdown on the media being encouraged by parts of government, some in the ANC and probably influential ‘tenderpreneurs’ and predatory elites is not aimed at improving the quality and responsibility of the media, or making it more equal. Instead it is aimed at hiding corruption, frustrating accountability and covering up service delivery failure. These are problems that now permeate every level of government; at national level, in all nine provinces and in most districts.

    The Constitution was won by the sweat and blood of people who opposed and defeated apartheid censorship and repression. A brave, even if unfree, media played a part in this. We therefore wish to issue a warning to the Cabinet and all those groups and individuals that we will campaign against all attempts to undermine press freedom and the Constitution. We are committed to equality, social justice and honest government. We will defend the Bill of Rights. We will not be intimidated and we will not stand by and let the erosion of our fundamental freedoms happen.

    Released by (in alphabetical order): Abahlali baseMjondolo, AIDC, Anti Privatisation Forum, Equal Education, Landless People's Movement, Lesbian and Gay Equality Project (LGEP), Rural Network, Social Justice Coalition, SECTION27, Students for Law and Social Justice, SWEAT, Treatment Action Campaign, Unemployed People's Movement, Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign.

    --
    Uyishayile!

    Abahlali baseMjondolo, together with with Landless People's Movement (Gauteng), the Rural Network (KwaZulu-Natal) and the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, is part of the Poor People's Alliance - a national network of democratic membership based poor people's movements.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Abahlali baseMjondolo http://www.abahlali.org

    Khayelitsha Struggles http://www.khayelitshastruggles.com/

    Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign http://antieviction.org.za/

    To contact Abahlali baseMjondolo in Durban please email abahlalibasemjonfolo [at] telkom.sa.net or phone 031 - 304 6420

    To contact Abahlali baseMjondolo in Cape Town please email abmwesterncape [at] abahlali.org or phone Mzonke Poni on 073 246 2036

    To contact the Western Cape Anti-Eviction Campaign, also in Cape Town, email aec [at] antieviction.org.za or phone Ashraf Cassiem at 076 186 1408.

    To contact the Landless People's Movement in Gauteng email Bongani Xezwi at bongani.xezwi [at] gmail.com or phone Maureen Mnisi on 082 337 4514.

    To contact the Rural Network in KwaZulu-Natal contact email ruralnetwork.kzn[ at] gmail.com or phone Reverend Mavuso on 072 279 2634.

    AbM Facebook Group:http://www.facebook.com/group.php?v=wall&gid=19659923423

    AEC Facebook Group:http://www.facebook.com/pages/Western-Cape-Anti-Eviction-Campaign-AEC/8432492420

    Abahlali baseMjondolo Solidarity Campaign Network UK
    http://abmsolidaritygroup.blogspot.com/

    Abahlali baseMjondolo Solidarity Group Namibia http://respectnamibia.ning.com/groups/group/show?id=3153753%3AGroup%3A60...

    Solidarity with Abahlali baseMjondolo in Italy http://clandestino.carta.org/category/mondiali

    Solidarity with the Poor People's Alliance in Germany http://akkrise.wordpress.com/sudafrika/

    Dear Mandela
    http://www.dearmandela.com/

    Land & Freedom!
    Date published: 
    06/08/2010
    Organisation: 
    Social Justice Organisations
  • Recent Developments in the South African Media Landscape

    Press Release

    6 August 2010


    The FXI views recent developments in the media environment as cause for considerable concern.

    Amidst renewed calls for a media appeals tribunal by the ruling African  National Congress (ANC) and its alliance partner the South African Communist Party (SACP), various incidents over the recent past have exacerbated fears about attempts by the state to gain greater control over the media. At the other end of the spectrum, concerns have been voiced about journalistic professionalism and inept attempts to control media workers from within media organisations. All this comes at a time when several pieces of legislation currently under consideration by the state could seriously limit freedom of expression and particularly, freedom of the media.  The most draconian of these is potentially the Protection of Information Bill currently before parliament, on which the FXI has made submissions, and which was analysed in a separate press release.

    The day after his story exposing alleged irregularities in tender proceedings within the police service was published, Sunday Times journalist Mzilikazi wa Afrika was arrested at his workplace by a large contingent of policemen.  Combined with the insistence by members of government that the Protection of Information Bill should be passed despite its sweeping ambit and its potential to severely limit the scope of investigative journalism, wa Afrika’s arrest has widely been interpreted as a threat to media freedom and a harbinger of future attempts to limit the press. Wa Afrika has since been released on bail. 

    Secondly, the ANC has published a discussion document on “Media Transformation, Ownership and Diversity”, in which calls for a media appeals tribunal are re-iterated. The SACP’s General Secretary, Blade Nzimande, has also called for a “a media tribunal that will hold journalists accountable” and for punitive measures against journalists who publish false reports.

    The Times newspaper, under the headline “Jail Journalists- Nzimande”, misrepresented Nzimande’s statement, and subsequently issued a weak retraction. By contrast, in the same week, the Business Day newspaper prominently featured a front-page apology to a cabinet minister for publishing a story from a single uncorroborated source.

    Several of the criticisms regarding monopolies on media ownership and the need to ensure that media practitioners adhere to a code of ethics are valid ones. Media practitioners are not above the law and must operate within the parameters of responsibility and accountability, acknowledging mistakes with dignity and grace when these occur.  They must also be able to function without fear of political intimidation or punishment when what they report is not flattering to those in power.

    The FXI does not believe that the proposed legislation currently being considered presents appropriate solutions to the problems noted here. Nor is a state-controlled media appeals tribunal the answer. Instead, such measures will create new problems that could further impact the right of the South African public to access a diverse range of independent media who can operate without fear, favour or prejudice. 

    Rather, criticisms of the current Press Ombud’s Office need to be constructively addressed in order to strengthen the Ombud and enable it to be more proactive.  An analysis of best practice in countries that enjoy a vibrant and diverse media environment might be useful in this regard.

    Various high-ranking members of government have attempted to reassure practitioners that the proposed legislation and other measures are not intended to limit free expression and independent media. While this may be so, governments and domestic polity change, but laws often endure through various administrations. Legislation such as the Protection of Information Bill, which would confer extremely wide-ranging powers to classify information on the pretext of ‘national interest’, could potentially be used by a more conservative future administration for repressive purposes.  In the southern African region alone, there are sobering examples that highlight the manipulation of existing laws by regimes seeking to limit free expression and independent media.  South Africans need to be vigilant to ensure that no law enters the statute books that could, at some point, be used to suppress the hard-won freedoms that comprise our Bill of Rights. 

    Finally, Avusa Media has suspended journalist Mawande Jack, president of the Mandela Bay Media Association, reportedly for recruiting co-workers into the Communications Workers Union (CWU), and distributing union materials to co-workers.  Reports indicate that this is not the first time Avusa in the Eastern Cape has moved to limit the rights of its employees to join unions and participate in their activities. A picket protest was organised outside Avusa’s Port Elizabeth offices in solidarity with Mr Jack on Thursday and Friday. Given the fears of state-driven limitations on freedom of expression noted above, it is ironic that a major media house is seemingly intent on limiting the rights of its own employees.  The FXI urges all media organs to uphold the constitutional rights of employees, including the rights to freedom of association and to freely access and impart information. 

    The FXI is committed to protecting and advancing the right to freedom of expression, as enshrined in the South African constitution, together with the associated rights to access and impart information, and to freedom of the media.

    Enquiries: Ayesha Kajee, Executive Director, Freedom of Expression Institute
    Email: Ayesha@fxi.org.za
    Phone: 083 500 74 86
    Date published: 
    06/08/2010
    Organisation: 
    Freedom of Expression Institute
  • MMA Calls for Evidence Based Reasoning in Debate About Media Appeals Tribunal

    Press Release

    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
    • Commercial imperatives and sensationalism at the expense of the public interest
    • The need to strengthen the current self-regulatory system
    • Equality and accessibility
    • Media freedom accompanied by responsible and ethical reporting
    The ANC discussion document presents no evidence in support its call for a Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). Instead it opts for assertion and rhetoric.

    The document unambiguously accuses the media of irresponsible and unfair reporting. However it could be accused of doing the very thing that it condemns, making unsubstantiated accusations:
    • It suggests that Parliament would appoint those sitting on a MAT: “this will guarantee independence, transparency, accountability and fairness” (point 106). This argument is flawed as Parliament is currently dominated by the ANC and as such, is naturally weighted in favour of this party and its policies.
    • The document asserts that the Press Ombudsman is not independent as he is a former journalist. It suggests he therefore demonstrates bias towards the media (point 98). However it provides no proof to back up this assertion, such as past rulings by the Press Ombudsman that would point to an inherent bias.
    • The ANC claims that citizens have complained to it that they have been victims of unfair and unsatisfactory decisions by the system currently in place (point 88). Again there are no statistics or other evidence provided to support this claim.
    • According to this document a “…cursory scan on the print media reveals an astonishing degree of dishonesty, lack of professional integrity and lack of independence. Editorials distancing the paper from these acts and apologies which are never given due prominence and mostly which has to be forced through the press ombudsman are not sufficient in dealing with this ill” (point 58). That the ANC concedes that this serious allegation is based on a “cursory glance” is simply unacceptable. It is MMA’s experience, after 17 years monitoring the media, that while violations occur, for the most part these allegations are simply untrue. However to ensure that we have a clear picture of media behaviour MMA is about to begin a monitoring project that will give us concrete evidence about media performance, identifying failures as well as strengths, which ought to form the basis of future change.
    In seeking to debate a MAT we must adopt a holistic approach and carefully balance all arguments. Such a debate cannot continue on the basis of fear mongering and political threats.

    The document says: “As South Africans we know the full meaning of unregulated power and unbridled capitalism of the barons experienced by other societies through time” (point 59 and 60). However this is one side of the argument. We also know only too well the dangers of the over-regulation of print media.

    Commercial imperatives and sensationalism must not be at the expense of the public interest and a diversity of views. However this concept must not be used as a means to condone undue control of the media. Self regulation needs to be strengthened rather than South Africa adopting a course of action that will, inadvertently or otherwise, muzzle the media. There must be a clear distinction between the media’s democratic role of being a watchdog of those in power and on the other hand irresponsible and unethical reporting.

    Of course the media could do better. MMA supports efforts to improve and encourage greater public ownership of the press code, to ensure that the public is empowered to access an effective and transparent complaints procedure and that justice is done and is seen to be done.

    A popular legal adage says “hard cases make bad law”. We need to make sure that a minority of instances of questionable, sensational or dubious reporting does not lead us to adopt a course of action that future generations will regret. Media is essential to the development and deepening of democracy, and a media with faults is better than a media muzzled.

    For further comment please contact:
    • William Bird +27 (0)82 887 1370
    • Prinola Govendin +27 (0)72 708 1320
    Contact William Bird
    Director & Ashoka Fellow
    Media Monitoring Africa
    Formerly:
    Media Monitoring Project

    Mb: +2782 887 1370
    Tel: +2711 788 1278
    Fax: +2711 788 1289
    www.mediamonitoringafrica.org

    PO Box 1560
    Parklands 2121, Johannesburg
    South Africa
    Date published: 
    09/08/2010
    Organisation: 
    Media Monitoring Africa
  • Information Bill: Threat to Media Freedom?

    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’.

    Many described the Bill as the biggest threat yet to freedom of information and the work of journalists. The other fear is that the Bill will encourage the publishing of press releases by the state and discourage investigative journalism. While some organisations feel that the Bill is unconstitutional and should be withdrawn, others are of the view that it should be redrafted to promote media freedom.

    The following organisations have commented on the Bill:
    In addition, a number of Western Cape organisations will be meeting on 10 August 2010 (16h00) at the ISS office in Woodstock to discuss a possible campaign on the issue of transparency and access to information. For more information, contact Mark Weinberg at AIDC.

    If you would like to share your views and comments regarding the Protection of Information Bill with NGO Pulse readers, please forward your comments and contributions to editor@sangonet.org.za.

    SANGONeT will highlight the feedback on the NGO Pulse portal and in the weekly NGO Pulse e-newsletter.
  • Press Tribunal a Blow to Media Freedom – Louw

    The Press Council of South Africa takes issue with a call by the African National Congress (ANC) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) for a statutory media appeals tribunal.

    In a press statement, the Council’s chairperson, Raymond Louw, points out that imposing of such a tribunal on the press has nothing to do with promoting press freedom but everything to do with the way the press reports on the conduct of governance, including the conduct of Cabinet ministers and other senior officials of the ANC.

    Louw argues that the ANC and the SACP do not want the public to be told of their poor governance, corruption by ‘tenderpreneurs’ and lavish life-styles, but want the press to report the ANC’s version of what is happening.

    To read the article titled, “Press Council warns against media tribunal,” click here.
    Source: 
    Mail&Guardian
  • Cell C Apologies for Poor Service

    Mobile operator, Cell C, has taken the unusual step of publicly responding to criticism by comedian, Trevor Noah, in a recorded comedy clip recently posted on Facebook and YouTube.

    In a full-page advertisement published in the Business Day newspaper, Cell CEO, Lars Reichelt, apologised to Noah and other Cell C customers who experience problems of coverage and lack of delivery.

    In the same vein, World Wide Worx managing director, Arthur Goldstuck, has described Reichelt's conduct as ‘revolutionary’. Goldstuck states that it is a conceptual breakthrough for a company to engage with a social media initiative. He says it is unusual in South Africa and internationally for the CEO of a telecommunications company to respond to a client by way of such an initiative.

    To read the article titled, “Cell C takes comedy criticism seriously,” click here.
    Source: 
    All Africa
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