'Media must stay vigilant'

THE media must remain vigilant and continue to fight for press freedom but should also take the responsibility of actively fighting against racism.

THE media must remain vigilant and continue to fight for press freedom but should also take the responsibility of actively fighting against racism.

This is the message from various interest groups as South Africa commemorates the 32nd anniversary of October 19 1977. This is the day when the apartheid government banned The World and Weekend World as well as Pro Veritate - a religious publication that was run by the late Beyers Naude.

Also banned were 19 Black Consciousness-aligned organisations. Several government critics, including World editor Percy Qoboza, were detained.

Human Rights Commission chief executive Tseliso Thipanyane said the media had the responsibility of combating the proliferation of racist ideas.

Media Institute of South Africa chairperson Mandla Seleoane said the media should remain vigilant.

"It is normal for governments to try to curb media freedom.

"That is why we need to be vigilant in fighting for press freedom," Seleoane said.

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