A total onslaught on the media.

This is how editors from all over the country described the recent draft legislation pertaining to the Protection of Information Bill and the proposed media tribunal as set out by the ANC government.

South Africa has come a long way since the censorship of the media in the 1970s and 1980s. In 2002 Mr Nelson Mandela expressed his attitude towards a free media as follow: “South Africa should put the freedom of its press and media at the top of its priorities as a democracy. None of our irritations with the perceived inadequacies of the media should ever allow us to suggest even faintly that the independence of the press could be compromised or coerced. A bad press is preferable to a technically good, subservient press.”

The proposed legislation on a media tribunal along with the Protection of Information Bill poses a serious threat to the freedom of the media in South Africa. The role of the media, no matter how big or small, is to inform and entertain in an unbiased, objective manner.

The media is the voice of the people and act as watchdog, exposing situations that fall whithin the public interest.

Dit is nou maklik vir jou as leser om te vra hoe bogenoemde jou enigsins beïnvloed. Uit die staanspoor moet dit vanselfsprekend wees. Wil jy regtig in ? land lewe waar die regering besluit wat in die openbare belang is?

Soos Tim du Plessis dit stel, as die koerante jou nie meer kan inlig oor korrupsie en die misbruik van jou belastinggeld nie, is jy die verloorder. Ek wil hê dat jy as student moet oorweeg wat die toekoms van ? land is waar mediavryheid aan die pen ry.

Kyk terug in die geskiedenis van Suid-Afrika of kyk noord na ons buurland Zimbabwe om te sien wat die implikasies van ? onderdrukte media is. Lees volgende week Perdeby waar ons deeglik uiteensit wat hierdie nuwe wetgewing behels.

We would like to hear your views on this subject. Leave your comments on our website at www.perdeby.co.za or e-mail Eloise at perdeby@up.ac.za

CAREL WILLEMSE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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