President Cyril Ramaphosa has urged journalists to maintain their credibility by not allowing themselves or their platforms to be used to fight political battles or settle scores on behalf of vested interests.

In his weekly letter to the nation, Ramaphosa says disseminating stories that are inaccurate or false will result in the public losing faith in the institution.

On the commemoration of World Press Freedom day on Monday, the President has lauded the work of the country’s media who he says have played a pivotal role in uncovering the true extent of capture of the state by self-serving, corrupt individuals and entities.

Ramaphosa has called on South Africans to jealously safeguard media freedom lamenting an increase during 2020 of the intimidation of journalists as reported by Reporters Without Borders in its latest report.

He says a robust media is more critical than ever as the country battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

He has urged the media to go beyond the headlines and report stories that contribute to human development such as gender-based violence, crime, and social ills like substance abuse.

Below is the president’s letter:

Earlier,  the South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) called on political leaders not to interfere in newsroom matters.

Sanef said it is concerned about the continued utterances from senior political leaders, naming journalists and interfering in the operations of newsrooms.