The Right2Know Campaign has called for a wider debate on media freedom in South Africa. This in the wake of allegations leveled against eNCA television news channel about censorship in the newsroom.
A former political reporter at the news channel, Samkele Maseko, made the allegations against eNCA.
“And it raises a whole bunch of questions about media ethics and essentially, how we provide a service or a disservice to the South African citizens access to information and the right to actually be informed. So, in essence, it brings back the sharp focus of the level of interference that happens behind closed doors and essentially, what stories make it out and for what reasons and what stories are censored and for what reasons. So, I think it’s a general conversation that we should have,” says Right2Know Campaign, Manager Thami Nkosi.
The South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) says it has written to management of eNCA news channel to seek a meeting on allegations of editorial interference and censorship against it.
Sanef executive director Kate Skinner says media freedom is a critical part of a healthy democracy, which all South Africans should fiercely protect.
“We are trying to meet with eNCA. We have said that we need to meet as soon as possible to discuss these issues in depth. For us, the issue is we do not want censorship in the newsroom. We want journalists to report without fear or favour. So for us, it is very important to get to the bottom of these allegations, because if there has been censorship in the newsroom we need to look at what happened and obviously how to prevent it from happening in the future.”