Zuma supports independent media

2011-08-05 11:32

President Jacob Zuma has stressed the importance of having an independent media free to express its views.

“We reiterate our commitment to media freedom as government and promote media freedom rights for both the public as consumers of media products, and the industry as producers,” Zuma told media owners in Pretoria today, at what he called “the first high-level summit” between the two parties.

“All of us have a responsibility to strive to develop a free and independent media.”

MPs were currently finalising the Protection of Information Bill and the African National Congress was discussing setting up a media appeals tribunal.

The interventions by the government had been seen by many quarters as attempts to gag the media.

The tribunal would empower the government to regulate the print and electronic media, while the bill would give the government the power to classify information in the “national interest”.

Without mentioning these issues, Zuma further highlighted the need to strive for a media “truly free” of political, commercial, factional and other interests.

He spoke of the critical role the media played in enhancing democracy, and of the importance of promoting diversity and transformation within the sector.


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