In South Africa, press freedom, our freedom of expression rights, and communications rights, are suffering from a disease. There are a number of obvious symptoms of this illness. We need to take a look at these to determine what they are a symptom of, what is causing them, perform a diagnosis, and then work out the cure for the disease. But, part of the ‘cure’ means changing our understanding of the term ‘press freedom’, writes JULIE REID.
If we are going to talk about ‘symptoms’, what has been happening to show us that media freedom, and freedom of expression rights, are not what they currently should be in South Africa? The truth is, a lot. Last year, for World Press Freedom Day in 2014, I wrote a column describing the various developments on this front from 2010 to 2014 indicating a slow but significant decline in South Africa’s freedom of expression status, across all sectors of society and not only for the press. I’m not going to repeat any of that here. I’m just going to talk about what has happened within the last year.
First, if we are talking about press or media freedom in particular, then yes, it’s…
Source : Daily Maverick