Gordimer speaks on media tribunal

2010-09-01 13:15

Johannesburg – The proposed media tribunal would not affect only journalists, but even creative writers, Nadine Gordimer said in an interview on the UK Guardian's website on Wednesday.

Gordimer, SA's Nobel prize winning writer, said she accepted that journalists would be the most affected if the government pursued its proposals.

However, creative writers would also suffer an insidious attack on their freedoms, because they often relied on material unearthed by journalists and their intellectual space would become fenced in, she said.

"We too are threatened by denial of freedom of the word, which is our form of expression of the lives of the people of South Africa.

"Journalists give us the facts, but in poetry and plays and novels there is a level of deep complexity, and that would be confined within the forces of government. Our aim is to explore life," she said.


The regulations would restrict these.

She added it was "more than an irony" that she was fighting for freedom again.

"People died in the freedom struggle, and to think that having gained freedom at such a cost, it is now indeed threatened again. All writers are threatened by censorship, and censorship is the reality lurking behind the words 'media tribunal'.

"We are protesting against the institution of a media tribunal, which of course means 'word police'..."

Gordimer is one of a number of prominent writers with South African roots who have endorsed a statement by the "Right to Know" campaign, which is against the tribunal.