Thursday, September 9, 2010

Colloquium on Media Freedom and Regulation

15 September 2010

1pm – 6pm

Chalsty Centre, Wits University, West Campus

Is South Africa facing the spectre of censorship and media repression?

Focus of the colloquium

On 23 August 2010, Wits and the Institute for the Advancement of Journalism hosted an evening panel discussion to define urgent questions around the ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal. The Faculty of Humanities invites you to a fuller, follow-up event which will develop the debate about freedom of expression in the media, but also in other realms of communication and publication, in South Africa. The colloquium will focus on a range of relevant proposed legal developments, including the Public Service Broadcasting Bill, ICASA Amendment Bill, Protection of Information Bill and the ANC’s proposed Media Appeals Tribunal (MAT), all of which have implications for freedom of expression, media freedom, and independent regulation of the media. In 10minute presentations, speakers will ask the question whether South Africa is approaching a new era of censorship, media repression and government control of the media which will undermine democratic freedoms as well as the transparency and accountability of the state to its citizens.


The colloquium will among other things focus on the following themes or issues:

  • Self regulation versus statutory regulation versus independent regulation
  • National versus public interest
  • State versus public service broadcasting
  • Freedom of expression
  • Freedom of the media and media independence
  • Academic freedom and research
  • Editorial and programming independence
  • Censorship
  • Access to information
Pending and existing legislation and ANC proposal
  • Public Service Broadcasting Bill
  • ICASA Amendment Bill
  • Protection of Information Bill
  • Proposed Media Appeals Tribunal
  • National Key Points Act


10 minute presentations on a theme and questions/comments


A range of presenters including academics, editors, journalists, lawyers and media activists working on freedom of expression and media freedom to address a specific theme/issue will make presentations on the themes and legislation identified above.

Proposed Presenters

Journalists and Editors (current and former)

  • Mr Joe Thloloe - Press Council and Ombudsman - Confirmed
  • Professor Gavin Stewart - South African National Editor’s Forum - TBC
  • Ms Ferial Haffajee - Media Appeals Tribunal - will attend


  • Professor Anton Harber - Media Appeals Tribunal - confirmed
  • Professor Franz Kruger - Showers, the Nellie, brown envelopes, leaks and the ethics of being a battleground.
  • Dr Sarah Chiumbu - The Case of Zimbabwe - confirmed
  • Dr Last Moyo - The Case of Zimbabwe - confirmed
  • Professor Jane Duncan - ANC’s Media Policy and Media Freedom - confirmed
  • Professor Iain Currie - Protection of Information Bill - confirmed
  • Professor Anthony Butler - Academic research & media freedom - confirmed
  • Professor Daryl Glaser - Protection of Information Bill & Democracy - confirmed
  • Professor Jonathan Klaaren - Protection of Information Bill - confirmed

Media Freedom Organisations

  • Ms. Kate Skinner - Public Service Broadcasting Bill - confirmed
  • Ms. Ayesha Kajee - Threats to Freedom of Expression - confirmed
  • Mr. William Bird - Public Service Broadcasting Bill - confirmed
  • Ms. Prinola Govenden - ICASA Amendment Bill - confirmed

Media Lawyers

  • Professor Dario Milo - Constitutional Implications - confirmed
  • Ms Pamela Stein - Constitutional Implications - confirmed
  • Gilbert Marcus - will attend
  • Mr Glen Penfold - will attend


Moderator: Professor Tawana Kupe

Dean of the Faculty of Humanities at Wits University

Time Topic/Issue Presenter
1300 - 1305 Welcome Prof Tawana Kupe - Chair
1305 - 1315 Public Service Bill Ms Kate Skinner - SOS
1315 - 1325 Public Service Bill William Bird - MMA
1325 - 1335 ICASA Amendment Bill Ms Prinola Govenden - MMA
1335 - 1400 Questions & Comments Participants
1400 - 1410 Media Appeals Tribunal Prof Gavin Stewart - SANEF
1410 - 1420 Media Appeals Tribunal Mr. Joe Thloloe - Ombudsman
1420 - 1430 Showers, the Nellie, brown envelopes, leaks and the ethics of being a battleground. Prof. Franz Kruger - Wits
1430 -1440 Media Appeals Tribunal Prof Anton Harber Wits
1440 - 1500 Questions & Comments Participants
1500 - 1510 Protection of Information Bill Prof Jonathan Klaaren - Wits
1510 - 1520 Protection of Information Bill Bill Prof. Iain Currie - Wits
1520 - 1530 Relationship between Academic research and media freedom Prof. Anthony Butler - Wits
1530 - 1540 Protection of Info Bill & Democracy Prof Daryl Glaser
1540 -1600 Questions & Comments Participants
1600 - 1615 TEA Participants
1615 -1625 Threats to Freedom of Expression Ms Ayesha Kajee - FXI
1625 -1635 Shifts in ANC Media Policy Prof Jane Duncan – Rhodes
1635 -1645 Constitutional Implications Prof Dario Milo - Wits
1645 -1655 Constitutional Implications Pamela Stein – Webber Wentzel
1655 -1735 Questions and Comments Participants
1735- 1745 The Zimbabwe Case Drs Last Moyo & Sarah Chiumbu
1745 - 1800 Concluding Discussion Participants