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INDABA Newsletter | September 2013


Members were addressed by Prof Nthabiseng Ogude, Vice-Chancellor and Principal of the Tshwane University of Technology.
Networking forums

Thank you to the Tshwane University of Technology for hosting the press club's networking forum in August. It was a most informative evening!

This month's networking forum will be hosted by the South African weather service.

Date: Thursday, 26 September 2013
Time: 18:00 for 18:30
Address: 442 Rigel Avenue South, Erasmusrand, Pretoria

We look forward to seeing you there!

POIB: Sanef still wants public interest defence clause

The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) has welcomed President Jacob Zuma's decision to refer the Protection of State Information Bill back to Parliament for reconsideration.

Sanef says it agrees with the remarks made by the president that certain sections of the Bill are irrational and unconstitutional. The Bill criminalises the possession and dissemination of classified state information even if such information is in the public interest.

Sanef has consistently argued for the inclusion of a public interest defence clause to protect journalists and whistle blowers.

Sanef is still concerned, however, about the provisions that allow for broad classification of information, including that which has nothing to do with security of the state, and the delegated authority to undefined state officials the power to classify information.

The organisation says these provisions should be amended so that they are in line with the transparent governance system envisaged in the Constitution.

Parliament has the opportunity to reconsider other provisions as well

Although the president cited a few problematic provisions to explain his decision, Sanef believes Parliament has an opportunity to reconsider other provisions which may be unconstitutional.

Sanef previously called on the president to refer the Bill to the Constitutional Court before he signs it into law. Last month, lawyers representing Sanef and Print and Digital Media SA - a body that represents media owners - wrote to the president, urging him to send the Bill back to Parliament.

The president's remarks suggest that he has listened to concerns raised by Sanef and other interested parties.

The Sanef statement adds: "We welcome the president's decision to reject the Bill in its current form. The latest developments will give our lawmakers another opportunity to fix this piece of legislation that has the potential to seriously undermine media freedom in South Africa.

"Sanef will continue to participate in efforts to craft a Bill that promotes transparency and openness in the conduct of state affairs."

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The National Press Club fully supports Sanef's sentiments and has also welcomed President Zuma's decision to refer the POIB back to Parliament.

Photojournalism workshop a hit

The National Press Club and the US Embassy South Africa have hosted a workshop titled 'Sharing visions: the power of photojournalism in the new age.'

The presenters were three award-winning photojournalists from the Alexia Foundation for World Peace in the United States - Justin Maxon, Tim Matsui and James Dooley.

They addressed issues around ethics, working with sensitive subject matter, changes driven by new media, funding and professional independence in today's world of shrinking print publications.

The South African photojournalism scenario was outlined by Peter Morey, principal judge in the press club's annual Photographer of the Year competition.

Club exco member Ben Rootman managed an interactive session with practical examples.

"The response to the workshop was overwhelming," says Rootman. "We look forward to conducting similar workshops in the future."

Welcome to new members

The press club welcomes the following new members: Wynand Claassen - University of Pretoria, S'milo Mngadi - Southern African Catholic Bishops' Conference, Nthabiseng Motsepe - Vuma Reputation Management, Philippe Strub - Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Coetzee - Carousel Casino and Entertainment World, Mercia Smith - Dept of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Progress Mpangane - Bataung Holdings and Nicholas Maphopha - e.tv.

We look forward to seeing you at a press club event soon!

See you at emBARgo

Members are reminded about happy hour at the press club bar emBARgo, every Friday from 18:00 to 21:00. Club exco member Phillip Bruwer now also presents a weekly quiz on Friday evenings. Do not miss the fun!

The bar is in the cellar of the Orange Restaurant in the Court Classique Hotel, corner of Beckett and Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) Streets, Arcadia.

Thank you for paying membership fees

Thank you to those press club members who have already paid their membership fees for 2013.

Members who have not yet done so, are requested to pay their fees as soon as possible.

Membership fees are R220 for full members, R350 for associate members and R150 for student members.

Members are requested to use their invoice number as reference when payment is done, so that it can be picked up easily by the secretariat.

Feedback

Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on martin@junxionpr.co.za, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter

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