Associate professor at the University of Johannesburg’s Department of Journalism and Television, Prof Ylva Rodny- Gumede, says journalists should not treat classified information differently from any other information that they handle.

Rodny-Gumede’s remarks come amidst journalist and author, Jacques Pauw’s, battle with the Hawks regarding contents of his expose, The President’s Keepers.

She says there should be clarity on what information is considered state or classified information.

“I think there are questions that we can ask around what a state secret is and what can be deemed as publishable information in the interest of serving the public or in the public interest.  Our Press Code is very clear on what public interest entails, that publishing information that is directedly related to serious misconduct and crimes,” she said.

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Prof Rodny Gumede also emphasises the importance of protecting sources except in those rare occasions that a journalist might be compelled to reveal its sources especially if foul play is suspected to have been employed in a story.

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