Organisations representing journalists have expressed concern over the increase in attacks on journalists in recent months.
Convenor of Durban Dialogue, Mary Papayya, which hosted the discussion, says the attacks include cyber-bullying and threatening phone calls, as well as incidents where journalists are physically and emotionally prevented from doing their jobs.
She says past experience has shown that such attacks are most likely to increase during the run-up to next year’s general elections.
Papayya says they’ll be calling on the Independent Electoral Commission to monitor such attacks and take them up with political parties.
“There’s also a lot of victimisation of journalists from within certain political circles. That in itself sends a very clear message that there is a trend and that journalists are prevented from doing their job as they should. When you compare this to the role of the journalist and what our Constitution prescribes for freedom of expression, we think that KwaZulu-Natal is yet again in a very dark and dangerous place.”
Journalists and editors in the region are concerned that if left unchecked the attacks on journalists are likely to become a trend, especially in the run up to the 2019 Elections.
— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) June 19, 2018