Media watchdog slams reporting rules

2010-08-12 18:21

kalahari.com

Vienna - Proposed media regulations in South Africa pose a threat to the independence and vitality of the country's journalism, a leading international watchdog said on Thursday.

The Vienna-based International Press Institute said in a statement it had sent an open letter to President Jacob Zuma "expressing concern" over plans by the ANC for a Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT) and a protection of information bill.

In a letter signed by IPI's interim director Alison Bethel-McKenzie, the watchdog expressed concern that the planned regulations "will endanger the independence and vitality of the South African media.

"We believe that plans for a government-appointed Media Appeals Tribunal, as well as a draft protection of information bill, if enacted, will endanger the South African media and thereby threaten the people of South Africa's right to information and rigorous political debate," Bethel-McKenzie said.

The ANC argues that the media tribunal, first mooted in 2007, is needed to adjudicate complaints on media reports in a bid to make journalists legally accountable.

And the protection of information bill will classify information deemed to be of national security and make publication of classified information punishable with up to 25 years in jail.

IPI argued that there is already a "vigorous and successful system of self-regulation in place" via the Press Council, in the form of a press ombudsman and an appeals panel.

The tribunal however "will not be independent," IPI said.

"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."

IPI said the protection of information bill "provides for a very low threshold for the classification of information, but at the same time imposes draconian penalties on those who reveal that information".
Read more on:    anc  |  media  |  legislation
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
/Fashion
 

6 life hacks you simply have to know

A few simple tricks can make your life so much easier!

 
 

For chic geeks...

Device lets disabled people talk through their nose
It’s THIS easy for someone to steal your ATM pin!
This is why you should install iOS 8
17 photo illusions that look so real

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Pre-order your iPhone 6 at kalahari.com

Hurry and pre-order your own iPhone 6 now at SA’s favourite online store!

Bargain box – 60% off

Reduced prices, very limited stock. While stocks last. Hurry and shop now!

Mind blow low prices on electronics

Get either the Prestigio multiphone or Proline tablet 7” tablet for only R699. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop now!

30% off Barbie toys

Save 30% on all Barbie toys and accessories. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Baby extravanganza month at kalahari.com

Celebrate baby month with a wide range of awesome baby products. Offers valid while stocks last. Shop 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

Your sense of duty is emphasized and you may put your heart and soul into helping, serving and being there for the community in a...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.