Writers protest against media 'muzzle'

2010-08-21 13:00

kalahari.com

Johannesburg - Jeopardising the freedom of writers will endanger the freedom of every reader in South Africa, renowned authors said on Friday in protest against proposed controls over the South African media.

"Writing presupposes an interaction with readers. And so, if the work and the freedom of the writer are in jeopardy, the freedom of every reader in South Africa is in danger.

"Consequently our protest is an action undertaken by South Africans for all South Africans, committing ourselves to a demand for our free country: freedom of thought expressed, freedom of dialogue, freedom from fear of the truth about ourselves, all South Africans," said a statement.

The protest, organised by acclaimed authors Andre Brink and Nadine Gordimer, is opposing government's draft Protection of Information Bill and the ANC's proposed media tribunal.

Wide support

It is being supported by fellow writers Zakes Mda, Abraham H de Vries, Chris Barnard, Breyten Breytenbach, Marlene van Niekerk, Zo Wicomb, Damon Galgut, Mandla Langa, Etienne van Heerden, Hermann Giliomee, Fred Khumalo and Justice Malala.

"Denial of freedom of expression makes a mockery of the profession of journalism - the print press and the media in general.

"As writers - whether novelists, poets, playwrights, essayists, historians, biographers or others - we too are threatened by denial of freedom of the word."

Many of the writers supporting the protest were banned under the apartheid regime.

"We are threatened again, now with a gag over the word processor if we penetrate the 'transparency' promised in the new South Africa, which a media tribunal will replace with the descent of a shutter over the dialogue of the arts."

The bill and the tribunal have led to debate over media freedom. The ANC has argued that current media watchdog, the Press Ombudsman, is not sufficient and an alternative to self-regulation was needed.

The Protection of Information Bill seeks to regulate the classification of information and makes publishing top secret documents a crime punishable with up to 25 years in prison.

- SAPA

Read more on:    andre brink  |  nadine gordimer  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

 

Inside News24

 
 

Zuma: Pray for peaceful polls

President Jacob Zuma has asked members of the Universal Church of the Kingdom of God to pray for peaceful elections on 7 May.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Friday Grabouw - 11:32 AM
    Road name: N2 Eastbound
    DELAYS between Sir Lowrys Pass and Grabouw
  • Friday Cape Town - 10:14 AM
    Road name: M3 Inbound
    EVENT - left lane closed between Rhodes Avenue and UCT
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer 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

BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry 6 Engage your world with BlackBerry 6 OS on the...

From R3049.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Self-indulgence may be strong today. You may want to enjoy yourself to the fullest and share it with those that make you feel...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.