World Press Freedom Day celebrated

Dean of St Georges Cathedral, the Reverend Michael Weeder.

Capetonians celebrated World Press Freedom Day on Friday May 3 at St George’s Cathedral, in partnership with Daily Maverick, the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) and Media Monitoring Africa.

This was one of 100 events taking place all over the world.

Guest speakers included former Independent Police Investigative Directorate (IPID) head Robert McBride, who said it was in everyone’s best interests to be “interested in the freedom of the media” and that “an attack on journalists was an attack on democracy”.

Others in attendance included Gangster State author Pieter-Louis Myburgh, ANC veteran Mavuso Msimang and Sam Mkokeli of Sanef.

The event was facilitated by Daily Maverick assistant editor Marianne Thamm, who said Reporters Without Borders, the non-governmental organisation looking at issues relating to press freedom across the globe, marked South Africa down three places from 2018 – from 28 to 31, commenting that South Africa’s press freedom is “guaranteed but fragile”.

The report cited the alleged tapping of journalists’ phones and other sources of harassment and intimidation when reporting on corruption, as a reason for the lower placing.