Media heavyweights dive into factors affecting SA's press freedom

The encroachment of media freedom in South Africa is becoming a growing concern.

A free and diverse media is crucial to promoting transparency and accountability in any democratic state.

A series of events over the past few months has begged the question: Is media freedom under threat?

eNCA's Vuyo Mvoko, Sanef's Sam Mkokeli and Huffington Post SA's Ferial Haffajee had this to say:

Haffajee, editor-at-large at The Huffington Post SA, believes that media freedom is not under threat.

She argues that media freedom - and the ability to enforce it - is much better in South Africa than in other parts of the world.

According to Haffajee, the harassment and protest outside Tiso Blackstar editor Peter Bruce's home was an exceptional circumstance.

I think we enjoy a wonderful media freedom and I feel free to exercise my rights as a journalist.

Ferial Haffajee, Huffington Post SA editor-at-large

Mkokeli, chair of Sanef's media freedom sub committee, believes there are various threats to media freedom which are not limited to physical intimidation.

It's not a yes or nor answer. There are threats to media freedom in South Africa, but I feel free. The environment is very hostile out there.

Sam Mkokeli, Sanef Media freedom Sub Committee Chairperson

Read: Award-winning journo reflects on death threats and bribes over govt exposé

Mvoko, an eNCA news anchor, says that the climate is becoming more hostile for media practitioners to operate in.

He maintains that the media and judiciary are the last line of defense for democracy, and may face even more bribery and death threats in the future.

Media freedom is not entirely under threat. But there are strong signs that we are about to get into really tough times. There are people who have vested interest who don't like their things exposed.

Vuyo Mvoko, eNCA news anchor and veteran broadcaster

They are going to stop at nothing from doing things like trying to bribe journalists not to report stories... I'm not being alarmist, but very soon people are going to resort to other means - including killing people.

Vuyo Mvoko, eNCA news anchor and veteran broadcaster

The trio joined host Eusebius Mckaiser to discuss the authoritarian and security creep that makes the work of journalists more difficult.

They also spoke about the effect of media coverage, importance of news judgment and media accessibility.

Other talking point included the SABC, the weaponisation of social media, fake news and economic pressures that disrupt editorial independence.

Self-regulation of the media, censorship and the responsibility of journalists and broadcasters was also debated.

Take a listen to the engaging discussion:

702 welcomes all comments that are constructive, contribute to discussions in a meaningful manner and take stories forward.

However, we will NOT condone the following:

  • Racism (including offensive comments based on ethnicity and nationality)
  • Sexism
  • Homophobia
  • Religious intolerance
  • Cyber bullying
  • Hate speech
  • Derogatory language
  • Comments inciting violence.

We ask that your comments remain relevant to the articles they appear on and do not include general banter or conversation as this dilutes the effectiveness of the comments section.

We strive to make the 702 community a safe and welcoming space for all.

702 reserves the right to: 1) remove any comments that do not follow the above guidelines; and, 2) ban users who repeatedly infringe the rules.

Should you find any comments upsetting or offensive you can also flag them and we will assess it against our guidelines.

702 is constantly reviewing its comments policy in order to create an environment conducive to constructive conversations.

Read More
There are other ways to take media to task, says media body

There are other ways to take media to task, says media body

The Freedom of Expression Institute says there is no excuse for harassing and intimidating journalists and or media outlets.

Media freedom wins the day

Media freedom wins the day

Tusi Fokani from the Freedom of Expression Institute says they welcome the ruling of Johannesburg High Court.

Sanef granted interdict against BLF over threats on journos

Sanef granted interdict against BLF over threats on journos

EWN's Hitekani Magwedze reports BLF members are not happy with Sanef, saying its members are captured by white monopoly capital

BLF urgent interdict judgment on journo assaults to be handed down midday Friday

BLF urgent interdict judgment on journo assaults to be handed down midday Friday

Sanef chairperson says they are happy that the presiding judge acknowledged the urgency of the matter.

Sanef to take legal action against BLF 'thugs' over intimidation of journos

Sanef to take legal action against BLF 'thugs' over intimidation of journos

Sanef's Sam Mkokeli says the threatening of journalists is a bid to mute the voice of media, so that state corruption continues.

Eusebius: "Right wing paramilitary thugs in the service of your paymasters"

Eusebius: "Right wing paramilitary thugs in the service of your paymasters"

Eusebius had this to say to perpetrators like BLF following intimidation of journos like Suna Venter, Peter Bruce, and others.

[LISTEN] We will not tolerate white monopoly capital - BLF

[LISTEN] We will not tolerate white monopoly capital - BLF

The movement Black First Land First (BLF) on Thursday picketed outside veteran journalist Peter Bruce's home.

World Press Day: "Implementation of the Hate Crime Bill is problematic"

World Press Day: "Implementation of the Hate Crime Bill is problematic"

Sanef's Sam Mkhokeli calls on South Africans to make sure that the media freedom in this country is protected.

A law expert on why HuffPost SA didn't deserve Press Ombud's hate speech ruling

A law expert on why HuffPost SA didn't deserve Press Ombud's hate speech ruling

Constitutional law expert Ben Winks unpacks the The HuffPost SA saga, and what constitutes hate speech versus fair comment.

"HuffPost SA blog does not constitute hate speech"

"HuffPost SA blog does not constitute hate speech"

Former Business Day editor Songezo Zibi does not agree with the ruling by press ombudsman Johan Retief.

HuffPo SA will have difficulty appealing Ombud ruling - media law expert

HuffPo SA will have difficulty appealing Ombud ruling - media law expert

Press Ombud ruled that HuffPost SA should apologise for publishing a post arguing that white people shouldn't be allowed to vote.

You are biased. In fact; we all are

You are biased. In fact; we all are

Before we lived in a post-truth-social-media-fake-news world, we lived in a post-truth-fake-news world.

Popular articles
It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

It's not the end of the road... Top tips to improve your matric

"Recognise that it’s not the end, it’s the beginning." Expert advise for school-leavers who want to improve their results.

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

Pamela Nomvete on her downfalls as actress, and 'climbing back'

This week Xolani Gwala's speaks to former Generations actor Pamela Nomvete for #WhatInTheWorldHappenedTo feature.

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Meet the founder of Capitec Bank, named ‘Best Bank on Earth and Cheapest in SA’

Michiel le Roux speaks about the fascinating story behind the little bank that has the Big 4 shaking in their boots.

Best way to get richer (especially if you’re between ages 20 and 45)

Best way to get richer (especially if you’re between ages 20 and 45)

Still young(ish)? Consider the single best thing you can do to increase your wealth by much more than the inflation rate.

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

3 easy questions could bag you R2000!

WIN R2000! But only if you can prove you're a whiz of the MTN Biz Quiz by answering the following three questions...

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Blesserfinder: Matching you with a sugar daddy near you

Is social trend Blesserfinder, where girls are allegedly matching up with rich 'benefactors' in exchange for sex, a real thing?

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

5 ways the NSFAS funding model will change in 2017

The National Student Financial Aid Scheme (NSFAS) will pilot a new funding model in 2017. NSFAS chairperson Sizwe Nxasana explains.