South Africa: Why Journalism Matters. the Challenges Have Changed, but Has Its Core Purpose?

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Journalist and Press Ombud Pippa Green's address to the 10th Annual Percy Qoboza Memorial Lecture on Monday 19 October, a digital event.

Good morning all

Programme director Jos Charle, panel chair Mosidi Mokgele, Val Boje of the National Press Club, Professor Siyasanga Tiyali of Unisa, and my fellow panellists Mike Siluma and Rams Mabote, the bursary winner Mcintosh Ngwenya, and members of the Qoboza family -- thank you for the honour of inviting me to address you on the commemoration of this important day not only for journalism but also in the history of the country.

Some four decades ago, the apartheid government closed down a major black daily, The World, and detained its editor, Percy Qoboza, as well as his deputy Aggrey Klaaste. "Government bans the World" read one newspaper poster only slightly ironically

That day, 19 October 1977, became aptly known as "Black Wednesday".

A number of other black journalists were detained at the same time -- among them Joe Thloloe, who has previously delivered this lecture, and who is the former director of the Press Council where I work.

Thloloe was already in jail under Section 6 of the Terrorism Act -- which allowed for indefinite detention....

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