The SA National Editors Forum (Sanef) is in the process of setting up a legal defence fund, it said on Sunday.
“Sanef is in the process of setting up a legal defence fund that will allow it to fund any current and future court cases which affect the right of journalists to work freely in our democracy,” it said in a statement.
On Saturday, Sanef announced that media houses would urgently seek a court order preventing security agencies from blocking communication signals to interfere with reporting as happened in Parliament this week.
They would also ask the courts to compel Parliament to allow broadcast media to install their own cameras in the legislature. This follows after cellphone signals were blocked in the National Assembly ahead of President Jacob Zuma’s state-of-the-nation address on Thursday.
Sanef called on individuals and organisations to consider making a financial contribution to the legal defence fund. Sanef said it was working on a draft document regarding whether journalists should affiliate themselves with political parties.
“Sanef is currently working on a draft document with regards to journalists and whether or not they should affiliate themselves to any political parties.”
“The document will be circulated to all newsrooms and will be finalised at the Sanef annual general meeting in June 2015.”
The organisation held an annual general meeting that ended on Sunday in Cape Town. SAPA