The Star Late Edition

Media freedom under attack


INDEPENDEN­T Media has called on other South African media houses to join it in denouncing media oppression and to advocate the freedom of the press. It made the call after the bombing of the building housing the Al Jazeera and AP news agency offices in Gaza at the weekend.

This, it said, was a deliberate attempt to silence the media covering the events in Palestine.

“Independen­t Media outright denounces this action.

“Independen­t Media stands strong in solidarity with all journalist­s for the right for each reporter to have access to informatio­n, convey all sides of a given story and without the fear of being cast into prison or being killed just for doing their job.”

Independen­t Media executive chairman Dr Iqbal Survé said: “What is happening in Palestine at present is reminiscen­t of apartheid South Africa. Freedom of expression and opinion and reportage on the situation at hand is under fire. Much like what happened here pre-1994, journalist­s are being prevented from covering what is happening on the ground and thus from informing not only their own citizens but the world at large. Reporters are being detained, shot, jailed and, in some cases, even tortured.

“A constraint on informatio­n in this digital age is tantamount to plunging the region into the Dark Ages. The media are a vital link for citizens and the world to be informed, as it is only in having knowledge that change is able to occur – everywhere around the world, not just in Palestine.”

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