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The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) stands in solidarity with our colleagues from Independent newspapers – and all media entities facing difficult financial times. We have recently expressed our concern around the financial challenges faced by the publication, the Mail&Guardian.

SANEF has seen letters that have been sent to Independent newspaper and African News Agency (ANA) staff and journalists that warn employees that they could face cuts of up to 45% of their salaries and suspensions to their pension and provident fund contributions. SANEF is worried about the deep personal distress and insecurities that these letters have created for Independent and ANA staff.

SANEF believes that the importance of journalists and journalism in South Africa – and across the world – has never been stronger. Journalists are playing a critical frontline role in keeping the nation abreast of all developments around Covid-19. We understand that audience figures, across the media industry, have sharply risen as citizens constantly seek updates on the spread and containment of the disease.

We reiterate our appeal to members of the public, corporates, donors and government to support the media industry and journalism during this critical time – through the payment of subscriptions, membership fees, donations and sponsorships. We call on corporates and government to continue to advertise.

Again, SANEF urges media companies to seek creative ways to cut costs before resorting to newsroom cuts, including salary cuts. SANEF notes the significant attrition to posts – and cuts to salaries – over the years which we believe has eroded quality journalism.

Note to Editors: The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all areas of the South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.

For more information please contact:

Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, (083) 399-2852

Mary Papayya – Acting SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957

Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334

Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (073) 404-1415

Janet Heard – SANEF Western Cape SANEF Convenor, (078) 041-9528

Hopewell Radebe – SANEF Acting Gauteng Regional Convenor (083) 582-1734

Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404

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