Several journalists form the province attended the launch of the Limpopo Journalists’ Forum at Meropa Casino & Entertainment World recently, which also saw Polokwane Observer Editor Yolande Nel being elected as member of the advisory committee.
Discussions on establishing a platform for journalists in the province to address their challenges were first held in January. In May an executive committee was elected with the core function to rally journalists under the umbrella of the forum and engage relevant industry role players to improve working conditions for reporters.
“We are making a call to the Police to protect our on-duty journalists. A bit of education will help Police to understand that a journalist with a press card is not interfering but working. As long as we are not tampering with the crime scene, we call for mutual respect to prevail.
“We also need more protection from the community itself. Journalists are still being targeted because some protestors like to think of journalists as the enemy. We are not the enemy here. In fact, without us, the community cannot have its concerns heard,” forum Chairperson Matodzi Makananisa said.
He also appealed, in the presence of acting Premier Jerry Ndou, to government communicators that a shocking disrespect of the role of media is being displayed.
“Some of the communicators who speak on behalf of your government still undermine members of the media. This affects the flow of communication between your government and your people,” Makananisa said.
In order to maximise the forum’s functionality an advisory committee was established from a team of senior journalists in Limpopo.
Besides Nel the committee consists of Rampheri Sefara, Frank Maponya, Jabulani Baloyi and Benson Ntlemo. The advisory committee will provide support and advice relating to the media to the executive committee.
Story: RC Myburgh
Photo: Limpopo Journalists’ Forum Chairperson, Matodzi Makananisa addresses reporters during the recent launch of the forum.