“Censoring” coverage to protect Parliament’s dignity

BY CHARL BOSCH - MARCH 30, 2015

National Assembly Speaker, Baleka Mbete, has defended Parliament’s decision of not televising unrests inside the Chamber, saying that is was merely being done so as to protect its dignity whilst only slightly infringing on free speech.

According to Business Day, Mbete stated in an affidavit submitted to the Western Cape High Court on Friday, that the granting of wide-angled shots during disrupts, as requested by the South African National Editors Forum (SANEF), Primedia Broadcasting, Media24 and the Right2Know Campaign, would “only encourage the worst behaviour in Parliament” and that there is no reason in showing something of little“legitimate parliamentary business”.

Mbete’s announced comes after the Court rejected an application brought by the media houses on March 10th, in which they requested that the Parliamentary television channel show uninterrupted coverage of proceedings taking place inside the Chamber, following the forceful removal of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) MP’s during President Jacob Zuma’s State of the Nation Address last week.

Although live audio coverage of the removal could be heard, the party’s eviction was never shown on television with the camera instead focusing on Mbete and National Council of Provinces (NCOP) Chairwoman, Thandi Modise. Videos taken by journalists and MP’s inside, which subsequently went viral later, were the only visual references as to the chaos that took place inside.

 

IMAGE sourced from www.702.co.za