Editors worried about NGC media rules

2010-09-29 20:06
Johannesburg - Editors on Wednesday voiced concerns over restrictions placed on the media at the ANC's national general council in Durban last week.

"Sanef (SA National Editors Forum) notes that many of the sessions were conducted behind closed doors, preventing journalists from covering the meetings and mingling freely with delegates," it said in a statement.

"The conference meeting rooms were separated from the media centre by a lengthy walk and strict security check points, thereby restricting the media's coverage."

The forum recognised there would be closed sessions during the NGC, but, in line with the "new transparent and open South Africa", found these "excessive".

"This conduct confirms the worrying trend towards making South Africa a closed society."

'No unusual restrictions'


ANC spokesperson Jackson Mthembu rebuffed the criticism, saying he was not aware of any unusual media restrictions.

"At no conference of the ANC was the media allowed to attend closed sessions."

He conceded controls were stricter at the NGC, held at the Durban exhibition centre, with no "non-delegates" allowed into the facility during closed sessions, including guests and the media.

"There was stricter control of access, but not only of the media."

This was due to the ANC needing to "deal with and concentrate on" its priorities without any distractions.

"We wanted the NGC to concentrate on NGC business. I don't think the ANC tried to muzzle the media in any way," he said, adding that the media was briefed as key policy decisions were taken.

Journalists were also barred from conducting interviews at the entry points of the NGC venue as delegates entered or left. Marshals cleared them from the entrances, leaving them to do their work on the street.

Limitations


Sanef expressed concern that some of the limitations imposed on the media did not extend to the national broadcaster, the SABC.

During a walkabout by President Jacob Zuma at a business exhibition at the venue, journalists were initially barred from entering, despite being invited to cover the event.

Once allowed in, they were surrounded by ANC marshals who repeatedly said "stay inside the police", in a bid to keep journalists and photographers from wandering off.

During the walkabout, Zuma's bodyguards and the police surrounded him, making it difficult for the large contingent of journalists, trailing behind dozens of photographers, to hear his interaction with business people.

On being barred from the NGC venue, Mthembu said the ANC did not want anyone to be hampered from doing their jobs.

"We wanted separation of delegates and the media so that no one interfered with anyone's space. It was nothing unusual. We didn't want the media space to be interfered with by anyone, including the delegates."

This was the reason journalists were placed in a "media village" completely outside of the facility.
- SAPA
Read more on:    anc  |  sanef  |  media  |  anc ngc meeting
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

Joburg hot spots for cocktails, craft beer, tapas and wine!

It’s the season to be jolly – so we’ve rounded up some new Joburg hot spots!

 
 

I love summer.24

Great ideas for the best summer sandwiches!
Christmas lingerie to make this festive season the best one ever!
13 things you might not know about Disneyland
The craziest deaths of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

At last you are able to see the light. You are able to break through obstacles in an innovative and original way. Visualisation is...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.