The South African National Editor’s Forum (Sanef) has noted Multichoice’s announcement of its plans to not renew their contract with the television channel ANN7 when it expires in August.
We need to interrogate the company’s statement further in so far as its impact on media freedom is concerned as the planned action could have serious implications for media freedom and diversity, and it could set a precedent.
Our immediate thoughts are with the station’s journalists who had nothing to do with the dealings and decisions of the corporate arm of the company.
As Sanef we believe in diversity in the media industry in terms of ownership and providing platforms for a multiplicity of voices.
Any media house of course also has to function within the guidelines of media ethics, the law and the available codes to ensure quality and ethical journalism.
We will be seeking further clarity from the company especially concerning their statement that their probe revealed no corruption, but only mistakes made by their executives.
We hope that Multichoice’s decision was not influenced by the latest developments in the political landscape and by complaints by people who do not approve of the channel’s stated political preferences.
Media freedom is sacrosanct and needs to be protected at all times against political or business interests.
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson – 083 399 2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson – 082 805-7022