South Africa: Journalism Today - Media Freedom, Diversity and Democracy Versus Editorial Interference

Screenshot of a tweet by Samkele Maseko.
opinion

The unfolding eNCA drama after the removal of political reporter Samkele Maseko by the television station's head of news Kanthan Pillay, has rent asunder pretences of independence and fairness in some media -- or could it be just about most media today in South Africa?

In case you missed it: the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) does not like the coverage and exposure of its party by some media. It bans Daily Maverick/Scorpio and amaBhungane journalists from its December conference, the National People's Assembly. Later, the EFF calls this "disassociation" and not "banning". Inexplicably, eNCA bans coverage of the conference "in solidarity" with the banned journalists. We don't know if the editorial head made this decision. We do know that the "banned" journalists didn't ask for this "solidarity".

But then Maseko does not heed the banning, stays on at the EFF event and tweets. In a sense, he carries on reporting on the assembly at the weekend, via social media. eNCA's Pillay, who not so long ago was leader of the Purple Cow -- the Capitalist Party of South Africa -- (which contested the last national election, but made no impact) asks him to leave within about 24 hours, ignoring Maseko's...

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