Editorial: News24 will not stand by when journalists are bullied

2018-11-28 06:49


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News24 heeds a call by the South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) for journalists to walk out of press conferences of political parties when journalists are being banned, singled out, intimidated and bullied.

We will no longer stand by when politicians like EFF leader Julius Malema belittle and threaten the physical safety of our colleagues in newsrooms.

The past week saw unprecedented attacks by Malema and some of his supporters on journalists who report critically on the EFF and their dealings.

Although Malema and the EFF have the fullest right to criticise the media – News24 included – when they differ from us or when we get it wrong, they do not have the freedom to endanger the lives of journalists or create a climate that condones attacks on journalists.

This does not mean we will boycott the EFF.

The party is the third largest in Parliament and we will continue to report on their politics, policy, election campaign and strategies.

But we will no longer give airtime to their vitriolic attacks on individual journalists or publications because they differ from them.

Like all South Africans, the EFF can lodge complaints against the media with the Press Ombudsman, the Broadcasting Complaints Commission or file civil claims against media houses if they believe they have been wronged.

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