By Thys Khiba
Pretoria- As the world commemorate World Press Freedom Day, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa appreciates and acknowledges an essential role played by the SA media.
“They sustained their reporting even in the face of intimidation, disinformation and attacks on their person,” said Ramaphosa.
World Press Freedom Day is commemorated every year on the 3rd of May. It was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993, following the adoption of a recommendation at the 26th session of UNESCO’s general conference in 1991.
Ramaphosa indicates that media in South Africa has played a pivotal role in uncovering events of state capture. He continued to say that media had exposed what they didn’t know of about the true capture of the state by self-serving, corrupt individuals and entities.
On Thursday, last week, Ramaphosa alluded the role the media played in probing state capture allegations and bringing such issues to light.
Meanwhile, Ramaphosa says that journalists still faces many tribulations in the line of duty. Ramaphosa highlighted the recently published 2021 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters without Borders. According to the latest, South Africa is ranked 32nd out of 180 countries. The report describes the state of media Freedom in South Africa as ‘guaranteed but fragile.’
According to the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), journalists and female journalists are attacked, receive death threats and remains the victims of cyberbullying on online platforms.
“SANEF believes journalists have played a significant role for the public good, especially under the Covid-19 pandemic. We will continue to campaign for media that is ethical and truthful at our upcoming ethics conference later this month,” said SANEF.