Posts Tagged ‘academics’

Media Freedom and Breaking the news

19/10/2018

The media in South Africa commemorates the 41st anniversary of the infamous “Black Wednesday” which happened on the 19 October 1977, The World and Weekend World newspapers and several organisations were banned.

We think this day is a good time to reflect on the state of journalism in the country in 2018, especially in light of the recent scandal that has rocked a Sunday newspaper.

We have come a long way to media freedom in this country. Being Africa’s oldest community radio station project, which at one stage faced the full wrath of the apartheid government, we feel it is our duty and responsibility to promote accurate and fair reporting.

Bush Radio does not have the resources to be a “breaking news” station, but it is our duty to be accurate and give our listeners an opportunity to make up their own minds. This however can only happen if we present all sides of any argument, through good research and having access to role-players like politicians on a local, provincial and national level – this is proving harder and harder as officials simply refuse to comment or respond to questions from our newsroom and producers.

We call on all role-players who have an interest in improving the lives of the people on the Cape Flats to be accessible, especially to community media who truly speak and represent the people of Cape Town. It is only by engaging on the hard questions that we can truly claim to be improving the lives of citizens – and being a platform where people and audience can engage with political and social leaders. Thereby learning, healing and growing this wonderful city.

As a place where many young journalists start in their careers, we call upon our audience to hold us accountable and engage with us around our reporting and broadcasts.

Background on Black Wednesday:

On this day in 1977 in South Africa, then Minister of Justice Jimmy Kruger, banned The World and Weekend World newspapers by stating that these publications were “publishing inflammatory material that threatened the nation’s security” and the paper’s editor Percy Qoboza and other journalists were arrested and jailed.

19 organisations were also banned and apartheid critics were detained.

The organisations banned were BPC, SASO, Black Community Programmes, Black Parents Association, Black Women’s Federation, Border Youth Organisation, Eastern Province Youth Organisation, Medupe Writers Association, Natal Youth Organisation, National Youth Organisation, SASM, Soweto Students Representative Council, Soweto Teachers Action Committee, Transvaal Youth Organisation, Union of Black Journalists, Western Cape Youth Organisation, Zimele Trust Fund, Association for the Educational and Cultural Advancement of African People of South Africa.

Banning orders were also served on Beyers Naude and journalist Donald Woods.

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I write what I like #zamediafreedom #biko

12/09/2013

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originally published 10/09/2010

Related:

Donald Woods on Bush Radio (CLICK TO LISTEN)

Open letter on Media Freedom & Freedom of Expression

From the archive: Download – Remembering Steve Biko

12/09/2012

Listen to a piece produced in 2008 on the anniversary of the death of Steve Biko by former Bush Radio intern; Rhode Marshall.

*Download: Remembering Steve Biko (4.95MB – 10min 49sec – Higher quality available)

Support World Press Freedom Day – 3 May 2012

02/05/2012

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Cops delete Bush Radio journo’s photos

Campaigning for your Right to Know

Open letter on Media Freedom & Freedom of Expression

Remembering Black Wednesday – 19 October 1977 #zamediafreedom

19/10/2011

More info:

BLACK WEDNESDAY: 19TH OCTOBER 1977 – LEST WE FORGET

Media Matters: Making sure Black Wednesday never happens again

Black Wednesday articles on BizCommunity

 Related posts:

I write what I like #zamediafreedom (repost)

Silence kills democracy (World Press Freedom Day 2011)

Campaigning for your Right to Know

Open letter on Media Freedom & Freedom of Expression

I write what I like #zamediafreedom (repost)

12/09/2011

originally published 10/09/2010

Donald Woods on Bush Radio (CLICK TO LISTEN)

Silence kills democracy (World Press Freedom Day 2011)

03/05/2011

courtesy of WAN-IFRA and sanjeev.saikia@gmail.com . Image supplied by Getty.

I write what I like #zamediafreedom

10/09/2010

Bush Radio Open letter on Media Freedom and Freedom of Expression

Open letter on Media Freedom & Freedom of Expression

19/08/2010

Below is a letter by Bush Radio’s Programme Integrator, Adrian Louw highlighting our position on the current debate on media freedom and the protection of information bill.

There has been a lot of discussion in the media about press freedom and the proposed media appeals tribunal.

There has also been fervent debates in the media and by political parties about the Protection of Information bill and other legislation which is currently before Parliament.

We at Bush Radio have hosted a number of programmes about these issues because, as a community radio station, it is not simply the intellectual debates among politicians and the mainstream media which is important, but how these proposals and laws will affect the communities we serve – and consequently the repercussions on the operations of this little community radio station at the foot of Africa.

We need to ask how these documents impact your fundamental right to freedom of expression and access to information which is enshrined in South Africa’s constitution?

Most importantly, how will it affect your right to know?

We facilitate your access to information and are an outlet for your ideas, concerns and challenges and this process should not be hampered by officials who choose the kind of information to which you have access.

We need to ensure that our young broadcasters do not shy away from digging deeper because they are scared of being targeted by the authorities.

Bush Radio has always seen itself as the facilitators and foot soldiers of democracy and not merely watchdogs. From 1993 when the apartheid government would not budge on the issue of licensing community radio stations in South Africa, and we were forced to take a stand by broadcasting “illegally“. (Video: Partial Eclipse)

Striving for freedom of expression in South Africa had a global impact – leading to a change in how the United States Federal Communications Commission looked at community radio in their country. (see: http://bit.ly/cxLhjI )

Another important aspect of what we do is highlighting your rights as a responsible citizen in South Africa.

We cannot and will not force you to believe anything.

Our role is to provide you with access to Bush Radio and relevant information, help you digest this information and then you to make up your mind.

We cannot and will not support any proposed legislation or movement aimed at curtailing your right to express yourself in an open and democratic environment.

What has become clear to us in the midst of the freedom of expression debate raging in South Africa is that Bush Radio needs to do more.

We need to actively search out information on these issues from academics, NGOs, research organisations and politicians so that we can do our job.

And our job has always been to facilitate the process of our listeners, our community, making informed decisions.

The debate around the freedom of the media and freedom of expression should happen divorced of rhetoric, accusations and fears, which only serve to cloud what to many is a complex issue.

We recommit ourselves to facilitating your right to access to information, and   ultimately to remain a vehicle through which you can exercise your right to freedom of expression.

Thank you.

All images and graphics courtesy of AL