Friday, August 13, 2010

Just How Free, Should The Press Be?


If there is one serious threat to our democracy, it is a media that is accountable to itself." Dr Blade Nzimande

I wouldn’t quite brandish the term “threat to our democracy” around, I do however to some extent agree with government’s stance on media accountability.

All of sudden there is this widespread fear that the state is seeking to control the media, and heaven forbid we no longer have journalists who are free to look under state carpets and report on what’s been swept there, that indeed would be a big blow to our democracy.

However…..

Under the current system, if you fall victim to a particularly rancorous personal attack by a newspaper, you are probably going to have to live with it, and deal with the irreparable damage it has done to your reputation. Your only recourse is through the courts which doesn’t come cheap and is farcically time consuming.

If the media remains free to expose corruption at will, and what government is suggesting is a media tribunal purely to serve as a deterrent against irresponsible journalism, it isn't necessarily a bad idea.

Ernest Roper
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