Posts Tagged ‘censorship’

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.

Related:

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Keeping Bush Radio On Air – Brenda, Adrian Shortlisted for #NatNakasaAwards

21/06/2018
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Brenda Leonard and Adrian Louw

By Emma Derr

A few weeks ago, Bush Radio Managing Director Brenda Leonard and Programme Integrator Adrian Louw were nominated for the esteemed Nat Nakasa Award – and it’s just been announced that they made the 2018 shortlist!

The award is named after South African journalist Nat Nakasa, and is given to individuals who show exceptional integrity and courage in their work.

Nakasa embodied fearless journalism at a time – the 1960s – when media was anything but free. During a period when black voices were rarely printed or heard in the news, Nakasa was one of the most important and influential anti-apartheid reporters.

Read more on Nat Nakasa

The award is awarded annually by the SA National Editors’ Forum (SANEF), Print Media SA and the Neiman Society.

SANEF says that those who are nominated must have “shown integrity and reported fearlessly and tenaciously striven to maintain a publication or other medium despite insurmountable obstacles”, as well as resisted censorship and displayed commitment to serving the South African people.
sanef tweetShe began working at Bush Radio in 1993 and says that the biggest accomplishment of her career is ensuring that Bush Radio is on air and legal at all times.

Nat Nakasa was often called a brave journalist, and Leonard says South Africa still needs people like this, even in the post-apartheid era, because journalists can expose corruption and educate.

“Even when there were threats to our sustainability, Bush Radio is important historically and currently influential,” Leonard said.

She said that Bush Radio has shaped the establishment and legislation of the Media Development Diversity Agency, which was created by an Act of Parliament to help disadvantaged communities who lack access to media.

Louw says, while Brenda Leonard keeps the organization running, he is responsible for programming, staffing, and mentoring.

He says his favorite part of the job is creating a safe space for young people to develop and become courageous journalists.

“The experience people have here changes lives and that’s the joy of being a part of an organization like Bush Radio,” Louw said.

He said that through his career, he has witnessed Bush Radio at the forefront of developing and defending the community sector of radio in the country. He said he considers Bush Radio one of the last “truly independent voices for the community”.

“I think we create hope in people about what’s possible,” Louw said. “We only rise when the lowest of us rise, and Bush Radio has and always will rise with the people we serve in the community. This is my small contribution to making South Africa better.”

The winner of the Nat Nakasa Award will be announced on Saturday, June 23 at Randlords in Braamfontein, Johannesburg*.

* Brenda and Adrian have asked a former Bush Radio staff member (now based in Johannesburg) to represent the station at the awards dinner.

Related:

BBC: Nat Nakasa reburial: South African writer’s remains return

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This is the sound of NO media freedom

18/10/2017

19 October marks the 40th anniversary in South Africa of the infamous “Black Wednesday”.

On this day in 1977 in South Africa, then-minister of justice Jimmy Kruger banned The World and Weekend World. He justified the banning 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.

Media Freedom1

Among 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.

We have released the video and poster above in support of media freedom. Share and show your support.

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Debating the Spear

11/06/2012

On Tuesday 5 June 2012 at the African Arts Institute offices in Union House, playwright and Executive Director of the Institute, Mike van Graan chaired a panel discussion/forum which considered the implications to artists of the uproar about Brett Murray’s controversial SPEAR painting. It was hosted by Arterial Network. A lively debate, occasionally slightly anarchic, ensued.

Nigel Vermaas, who attended the forum, assembled a 17.30 minute version of the two-hour event for his Arts Update in Friday’s Sakhisizwe show (8 June). Inevitably the choices made will not find favour with all, much nuance is, of course, lost, and some of the edits are a bit abrupt – but the gist is there.

Mike van Graan introduces the panel: CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE RECORDING