The National Press Club says no to proposed media tribunal

The National Press Club strongly condemns the media tribunal proposed by the African National Congress. “A government regulated tribunal will amount to media censorship and hinder the media’s right to report without restraint,” says National Press Club Chairman Yusuf Abramjee. “Such a tribunal relates to Apartheid style tactics where the media was told what to write and say,” says Abramjee.

“Since the dawn of democracy we have established a proud history in this country of freedom of speech, and freedom of the media. Our constitution guarantees this and it is vital that we continue to uphold this very important pillar of our democracy.” He says the club will oppose any move for a tribunal. “The media plays a vital part of any democracy and should regulate itself. We are therefore opposed to the proposed media tribunal as this will violate the rights of journalists to do their work.” He says the National Press Club calls on President Jacob Zuma and the ANC to decline this proposed tribunal at their conference in September. “We will keep a close eye on developments and if such a tribunal becomes a reality, we will, together with other role players, decide on the way forward.” (Ends)

Issued by: National Press Club secretariat Tel 012 804 5199 Contact: Yusuf Abramjee Chairman – National Press Club Tel 082 441 4203 27 July 2010