Cape Town, South Africa, December 5, 2014--The Committee to Protect Journalists welcomes the decision by the Pretoria High Court in South Africa to uphold journalist Cecil Motsepe's appeal against a conviction of criminal defamation, but disapproves of the court's ruling that the crime of defamation for journalists falls in line with South Africa's constitution. Motsepe, a reporter for the daily newspaper Sowetan, was convicted in June 2013 and sentenced to a fine or a suspended 10-month prison term in connection with a 2009 story.
Honoring courage and perseverance
Awardees from Burma, Iran, Russia, and South Africa
New York, September 30, 2014--Four journalists from Burma, Iran, Russia, and South Africa will be honored with the Committee to Protect Journalists' 2014 International Press Freedom Awards, an annual recognition of courageous reporting. These journalists have faced imprisonment, violence, and censorship.
Dear Hlaudi Motsoeneng: The Committee to Protect Journalists, an independent, nonprofit organization that promotes press freedom worldwide, is writing to express its concern at recent anti-press statements you made at the University of Witwatersrand in Johannesburg.
Freedom of expression advocates in South Africa are concerned that the new Ministry of Communications, announced by President Jacob Zuma when he unveiled his cabinet on May 25, will compromise the independence of the public broadcaster and serve as a propaganda office.
This week, South Africans go to the polls for their fifth democratic elections since 1994, but despite constitutional guarantees of media freedom, the vast majority of South Africans who vote will do so informed only by the positive news and information carried by a public broadcaster widely criticized for its partiality to the ruling party.
Economists and political scientists acknowledge that journalism is vital to development and democracy. By Robert Mahoney
Calls for journalists to exercise a sense of responsibility are very often code for censorship. Yet unethical journalism can also imperil the press. By Jean-Paul Marthoz
How robust are the institutional safeguards that underpin Nelson Mandela's vision of a strong and independent South African media? By Sue Valentine
Do you believe the free flow of information must be protected? Sign the #RightToReport petition and demand that President Obama immediately:
1. Issue a presidential policy directive prohibiting the hacking and surveillance of journalists and media organizations.
2. Limit aggressive prosecutions that ensnare journalists and intimidate whistleblowers.
3. Prevent the harassment of journalists at the U.S. border.
Or click here to see the full petition, and join leading journalists like Christiane Amanpour, The Guardian’s Alan Rusbridger, Editor of the AP Kathleen Carroll, and Arianna Huffington in signing on.