News24

Beware of media censorship - US ambassador

2014-09-30 18:59

Johannesburg - South Africa has to be wary of attempts to censor the media such as SABC COO Hlaudi Motsoeneng's recent suggestion that journalists be licensed, US Ambassador Patrick Gaspard said on Tuesday.

"I was stunned that all of you weren't outside of the SABC headquarters the next morning," he said at the Nieman Society AGM in Johannesburg.

"Governments around the world are looking to control any story they can."

Motsoeneng recently suggested all journalists be licensed and that government revoke these licences should they behave unprofessionally.

Gaspard quoted journalist and writer Nat Nakasa, who died in exile in New York in 1965, saying people should speak up in a "loud and thunderous voice" should anyone or any government hint at censorship.

"Muscular vigilance" was needed to maintain press freedom, he said.

"My caution to your country and my own is too often we're neglectful of the rights that we have."

Gaspard said the relationship between South Africa and the US was still strong despite his recent spat with Deputy Defence and Military Veterans Minister Kebby Maphatsoe.

Maphatsoe had accused Public Protector Thuli Madonsela of being a CIA spy.

"Irrespective of comments made by some irresponsible people... Our relationship is still strong," he said of the two nations.

Comments
  • Kobus Hattingh - 2014-09-30 19:07

    Ja en Amen daarop.

  • Xenswim1 - 2014-09-30 19:11

    so says a man whose country has the so called patriot act that robs every citizen of their rights to privacy.

      Lilian Looney - 2014-09-30 19:23

      And you know this how?

      Andre James - 2014-09-30 19:42

      and spys on all citizens...emails, texts, internet history the works. And now that Senator Feinstein is proposing net neutral laws that restrict dissident journalism and journalists that ambassador needs to stop being a hypocrite and go and preach to hia countrymen back home. @ lillian looney....you need to read more

  • kingzamo.ngubane - 2014-09-30 19:36

    Mxm you are talking nonsense, tell that to your own government cause if it wasn't for Russia, Snowden would be in jail by now.

      Sterling Ferguson - 2014-09-30 20:05

      If it wasn't for the US many spies would be dead in Russia. Many Russian reporters have been killed for writing stories about the Russian government.

      Joe Black - 2014-09-30 21:45

      Its not the same issue. At least in the US there is enough freedom of speech and independent media to combat such issues. Here we have state spying and ever decreasing freedom of speech and expression. Do you see the difference? Can you?

  • kingzamo.ngubane - 2014-09-30 19:36

    Mxm you are talking nonsense, tell that to your own government cause if it wasn't for Russia, Snowden would be in jail by now.

  • kingzamo.ngubane - 2014-09-30 19:36

    Mxm you are talking nonsense, tell that to your own government cause if it wasn't for Russia, Snowden would be in jail by now.

  • Aqua BlueAfrica - 2014-09-30 19:48

    nope i think theres wisdom in his warning. .CancER and subzerozuma would love everything hush hush about all the thieving, corruption and criminal activity in goverment. .strange how the wheel of time is turning. .was it not the apartheid government also wanting to control the media. .#Sabcmotsaneng=zuma lapdoggie

  • Jack Thomas - 2014-09-30 19:54

    It is quite obvious that the media is filtered and infected by propaganda.. how else would they hide the mass corruption and theft in parliament? How naive do they think we are?

  • Thulani Xulu - 2014-09-30 19:55

    Look whose talking an tell me y....screw u and jo COWntry

  • Jack Thomas - 2014-09-30 19:56

    Those that don't read the news are uninformed, those that read the news are miss informed...

  • Consortium Scenarios - 2014-09-30 19:57

    Step 1 in the trend towards dictatorship, glad the ambassodor is reminding government the world is watching....our fallen strugle heroes fought hard for this democracy wit all its freedoms and accountability of the state, luckily Motsoeneng is a mosquito so whatever he says doesn't bother me as long as government doesn't share similar views with him!

  • Joe Black - 2014-09-30 21:42

    I hear what he is saying, but who's going to stop Zumaski from telling his "good story". Sometimes it feels like there's too many people in this country who actually want the wool pulled over their heads.

  • gerry.klos - 2014-09-30 22:56

    Our politicians do not realize how stupid they actually are

  • Songezo Lesh - 2014-10-01 00:52

    Yeah right, tell that to Fox and CNN

  • Songezo Lesh - 2014-10-01 00:55

    Huh! News24. It's clear whose side you on. Why remove our comments? So much for press freedom.

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