27 July 2009
The South African government will continue to respect media freedom in the country, and promote the role of the media in the socio-economic development of the continent, says President Jacob Zuma.
The African Editors Forum met with Zuma in Pretoria last week to brief South Africa’s new administration on the challenges facing journalists in Africa.
Issues of media freedom and the role of the media in the socio-economic development of the continent were also discussed, according to International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, who was part of the meeting.
Speaking to local journalists after the meeting, Nkoana-Mashabane said: “One thing we all agreed upon is that we are all … eager to project an image of an Africa that is rising politically socially and economically.”
For the media to play its development role in Africa, Nkoana-Mashabane said, each sector of society had to play its role as well. “Governments need to govern properly, and the media need to report constructively.”
By this, she added, “we don’t mean the media must always report what we want to hear.”
Nkoana-Mashabane congratulated former City Press Editor Mathatha Tsedu on his appointment as chairperson of the African Editors Forum.
Tsedu said the editors had informed Zuma of the continuing harassment of journalists in most African countries, and of threats to media freedom in countries like Zimbabwe, Gambia, Somalia and the Sudan.
“Media Freedom is still under threat in countries like Zimbabwe, the Sudan, Gambia, Niger and Eritrea, to name but a few,” Tsedu said.