The South African National Editors’ Forum has noted the restatement by the ANC National General Council of the decision taken at its 2012 conference in Mangaung calling for a parliamentary process to look at the desirability or otherwise of a Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT). Sanef does not believe there is a need for MAT and is satisfied that the present regulatory framework, introduced after the debate on MAT started, is working well.
Sanef trusts that the NGC resolution calling for a speeding up of the parliamentary process will settle the matter once and for all, in line with the rights to freedom of the media and expression enshrined in the Constitution’s Bill of Rights. Sanef will participate in the public hearings that are scheduled to take place in Parliament and calls on the South African public to defend media freedom from those who may want to threaten its existence. Media freedom, which is the ability of citizens to access verified and reliable information that helps them make decisions about their lives, and their ability to speak their minds through the various media platforms available, is a cornerstone of any democracy. The ability of subjects of coverage to seek and find redress is also paramount and Sanef believes that between the Press Council and the Press Ombudsman which is soon to include all digital platforms, as well as the Broadcasting Complaints Commission that covers the broadcasting sector, South Africans have sufficient mechanisms to ensure fair coverage by the media. Moreover, the usual legal remedies are still open to aggrieved parties through our courts of law.
Enquiries: Sanef deputy chairperson
Moshoeshoe Monare 0795135153