n South African Medical Journal - Media freedom - journal challenges

Volume 101, Issue 6
  • ISSN : 0256-9574
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5135



Nelson Mandela in 1994 stated that 'A critical, independent and investigative press is the lifeblood of any democracy.' But now South Africa's highly contested Protection of Information Bill (the Bill) provides a useful hook on which to hang some thoughts on media freedom. 'Worldwide, most freedom of information laws exclude the private sector from their jurisdiction. Information held by the private sector cannot be accessed as a legal right. This limitation has serious implications, because the private sector is performing many functions that were previously the domain of the public sector. As a result, information that was previously public is now with the private sector, and the private contractors cannot be forced to disclose information.'

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