Grocott’s Mail newspaper faced down an advertising boycott by the local Municipality during 2007/8. The Municipality backed down and settled out of court. This webpage sums up the issues involved, with links (below to relevant resources).
The view of the paper was that the Municipal boycott violated:
- The SA Constitution’s clauses on administrative action;
- The Promotion of Administrative Justice Act;
- The Municipal Finance Act;
- The constitutional clauses on freedom of the media;
Yesterday was October 19 – National Media Freedom Day.
South African media have two occasions to promote media freedom to the wider public – yesterday and 3 May (International Press Freedom Day). But they don’t always rise to the occasion, although the SA National Editors Forum always sends out a statement - here's this year's one.
FORMER Sowetan sub Llewellyn Kriel’s dubious honor as the first South African sacked for blogging may be undeserved. About three months ago, I was confidentially informed of an incident involving a motoring magazine, a media powerhouse and another journo-blogger. That matter was resolved rather more quietly. But I’m sworn to secrecy.
These incidents bring into relief the fragile nature of the independence of bloggers whose bread is paid for by big media.
Full text of a speech I gave at the inaugural meeting of the Press Council, Johannesburg, 2 November 2007.
This body really has to succeed - if it can't win respect from editors and government, as being above the fray, then we're in big trouble. Everybody. Government, media, public. The scenario then will be external regulation, rather than self-regulation.
LIBERALS and lefties alike have deplored reports of the imminent arrest of SA’s top editor and his deputy as the latest example of an authoritarian offensive by President Mbeki’s oligarchy against a critical press. Pish tosh. This case may actually do journalism more good than harm.