Business Day reports that some top media companies in America, including NBC News, the New York Times and the Washington Post, are urging South Africa’s President Jacob Zuma and the ruling ANC party to abandon plans to set up an independent media tribunal. This follows a local outcry about the huge threat to press freedom that such a tribunal would pose.
In a letter sent to President Zuma, the American media companies, collectively known as The Committee to Protect Journalists, say that a tribunal would “severely restrict’ South African media. The letter urges the President to ensure that such proposals are either emended in line with constitutional safeguards for freedom of the press or withdrawn altogether.
Just days ago the Vienna-based International Press Institute – a global network of publishers, editors and journalists – sent a similar letter to President Zuma.