It’s time for all to have their say on the media – Langa

2011-10-15 18:11

Do you think that newspaper hacks have too much power? Or perhaps you’re worried that the government is trying a tad too hard to censor your favourite read.

The good news is that you can do something about it.

The head of the new Press Freedom Commission, former chief justice Pius Langa, made an impassioned plea this week for South Africans from all walks of life to make written submissions on the type of press regulation they would like.

Langa said: “We are going to be working hard to find the best possible mechanism that South Africans will find irresistible to implement. We need to come up with something that everyone can believe in. Something that will make people say eureka!”

He called on various religious, political and sports organisations, and even stokvels, to express their views.
To date, the commission has received only two submissions.

The Press Freedom Commission was launched on July 7 as an independent body of nine commissioners from different sectors of society, created to research the best possible print regulatory system.

The commission was initiated by Print Media SA and the SA National Editors’ Forum.

Langa said it had identified four regulatory models on which they would like specific input – self-regulation, co-regulation, independent regulation and statutory regulation (see box below).

The deadline for written submissions is November 30 (see advert on page 13).

Press Freedom Commission spokesperson Phil Mtimkulu said commission members would travel overseas next month to conduct further research. The commission also planned to hold a series of public hearings in various cities in January next year.

A final report will be compiled in February next year.

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