South Africa’s strong independent media institutions have been credited as one of the great strengths of its 25yr old constitutional democracy. But there have recently been insidious instances of harassment, intimidation, assault and incitement to violence against the media. In this public forum our lead question is whether the independence of the South African media – a fundamental tenet of our constitutional democracy – is under threat.
The inputs will also consider the profound shifts in the media industry which are redefining the state of journalism and rapidly eroding the traditional ways the public have received news and information.
Three experts from the media industry will briefly address a range of topical issues related to Media Freedom on a panel that will be chaired by Professor Ben Turok, director of the Institute for African Alternatives.
Veteran journalist Karima Brown, recently a high profile target of harassment and intimidation will provide a personal perspective on how the instances of hostility towards her profession are playing out.
Stefaans Brὒmmer, founder of Amabhungane, will provide insights on this young media organization’s journey in the pursuit of protecting independent investigative journalism,
Associate Professor Wallace Chuma of the Centre for Film and Media Studies at UCT will address the topic of media regulation, oversight and public perceptions of the media.