Democracy is struck a blow by media retrenchments — Editors

A loss of media personnel limits the number of sources of information for the public, leads to regression in media diversity and multiplicity of voices, says Sanef.
A loss of media personnel limits the number of sources of information for the public, leads to regression in media diversity and multiplicity of voices, says Sanef.
Image: 123RF/ scanrail

The SA National Editors’ Forum says it is deeply concerned by the ongoing waves of retrenchments at media houses across the country.

“We are concerned that the continuing retrenchments and or closure of media houses will have a detrimental effect on our democracy as it limits the number of sources of information for the public, leads to regression in media diversity and multiplicity of voices,” the editors forum said in a statement.

“We believe that SA Africa needs more voices and plurality if we are to call ourselves a deepening, robust democracy.”

Earlier this month, the forum announced the establishment of a relief fund for media workers who had lost their jobs to the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown, with donations for corporates.

Sanef said those journalists in dire need who had been retrenched from March 26 would be eligible to apply for a R5,000 donation to purchase necessities like food.

Primedia, the broadcasting home of media platforms 947, 702, KFM, CapeTalk and EWN, is the most recent media giant to announce plans to retrench staff.

Media24 has also announced it is considering a restructuring and the closure of five magazines and two newspapers, with a proposed reduction of close to 660 positions out of a total staff of 2,971, mostly across the print media and distribution divisions.


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