Editors' forum concerned at alarming rate of attacks on journalists

2016-07-10 19:42

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Johannesburg – The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) said its delegates were concerned at the alarming rate of attacks on journalists during community protests and political gatherings.

“Delegates expressed grave concern about the alarming rate of attacks on journalists by either the community and or thugs during community protests and political gatherings.”

In a statement issued after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Houghton, Sanef highlighted the recent Tshwane protests where it said around 10 journalists from different media houses were attacked.

“During the attacks some of the journalists were threatened at gun point, or by mob carrying stones baying for their blood. In almost all of these incidents there was a demand that pictures taken during the protests should be deleted.”

Sanef appealed to communities to allow journalists to “do their job” and gave thanks to those who protected journalists.

Lack of urgency

"It is through the media that South Africa can reflect on her challenges and find solutions.”

Sanef said it was also concerned with police harassment of journalists where authorities demanded footage and pictures be erased or insisted reporters leave areas of unrest.

"This is unacceptable and has to come to an end as the police behaviour is in conflict with Police Standing Order 156 which lays down rules of engagement between police and journalists at crime scenes,” the organisation insisted.

Sanef said police harassment continued despite it teaming up with police in amending the Standing Orders and publishing a credit card size booklet to guide both journalists and police during protest action.

Sanef added that there was a lack of urgency by police leadership in scheduling an urgent meeting it requested discuss the issue. 

Read more on:    sanef  |  media

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