Stop intimidation of journalists - minister

2017-07-02 11:38

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Johannesburg - Communications minister Ayanda Dlodlo on Sunday lashed out at those who intimidate journalists, saying that it went against constitutional rights.

"The recent case of intimidation of Business Day employees, as well as journalists in The Times group and ANN7, are but a few examples of attacks against the media" she said.

"The media is not only victimised by organizations and members of the public, but it is also important to note that they have fallen prey to associates within their own profession."

Dlodlo added that any intimidation was "unacceptable".

 "Journalists should be free to practice their craft without any fear or intimidation, and this comes with a degree of responsibility in their reporting which includes the values and ethos enshrined under the Bill of Rights.

"…The media’s role is imperative in moving the country forward by shaping public narrative, creating an informed citizenry, and strengthening democracy," she said.

Earlier this week, Black First Land First (BLF) issued a statement on its website, warning that it would deal with certain white journalists including Business Day editor-in-chief Peter Bruce, amaBhungane's Sam Sole, News24 editor Adriaan Basson, 702 presenter Stephen Grootes, News24 columnist Max du Preez, Eyewitness News' Barry Bateman and Biznews editor Alec Hogg.

BLF declared these "racist" journalists promoting "racism, slander, fake news and the covering up of white corruption under the guise of journalism".

On Thursday members of the group protested outside Bruce’s residence, apparently in response to a column he had written about the Gupta family.  Police intervention was also needed when Business Day editor Tim Cohen was assaulted when he arrived at the residence.

Read more on:    blf  |  media freedom

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