Media Freedom Day

Sanef encourages events that support media freedom, exemplified by the annual recognition of Media Freedom Day on 19 October. The date commemorates the 1977 banning of newspapers and editors in South Africa, known as Black Wednesday.

The 2009 event took the form of a media workshop hosted by Sanef. It featured addresses by high-profile media and private-sector commentators and academics, followed by a discussion session.

The annual recognition of 19 October 1977 creates an opportunity for the media to engage in discussion about South Africa’s historical journey to media freedom and to discuss current issues affecting media freedom.

Black Wednesday also pays homage to media freedom activists, editors and journalists whose sacrifices during South Africa’s struggle for democracy allow us the freedom of the media as enshrined in our constitution today.

To read and download documents related to media freedom, visit our publications section.

Joint action

Sanef has always had a loud voice when editors and journalists have been under threat, issuing statements to alert members and encouraging them to give coverage to such incidents and topics.

When we tackle media freedom issues, we occasionally join forces with other media bodies.