Quality of journalism hampered by retrenchments: Right2Know

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The Right2Know Campaign says the quality of journalism in South Africa is being hampered by retrenchments, small newsrooms and heavy workloads.

Thursday is World Press Freedom Day. The day was proclaimed by the United Nations General Assembly in December 1993, following the recommendation of Unescos’ General Conference.

Since then, 3 May, the anniversary of the Declaration of Windhoek is celebrated worldwide as World Press Freedom Day.

The day serves as an opportunity to celebrate the fundamental principles of press freedom and to assess the state of press freedom throughout the world.

The Campaign’s National Coordinator, Mark Wineburg says the media industry in the country is completely skewed towards the English speaking world, the urban centres and the middle-class.

Wineburg says, “The media owners need to invest more in journalism, the reporting capacity and information gathering capacity to pay tribute to the great freedom they have been given by our constitution.”

He says South Africa still has a robust investigation journalism capacity in its media, notably amaBhungane.

“We see them breaking important stories bringing vital information into the public, for example the Gupta leak emails.”

Wineburg says, “The old model of media: TV, magazine, radio and newspapers are becoming less important and the internet is becoming a much important medium and we have to pay attention to issue of online surveillance.”

The 2018 World Press Freedom Index by the Reporters Without Borders ranks South Africa at number 28, with Norway at number one.