11 May, 2012

Opinion Article on Secrecy Bill

By: Kgowa Tiragalo                                                                                                                  According to section 16 of the constitution of  South Africa, every citizen of this country has the right to freedom of speech. Media also as a structure of the society are entitled to freedom of expression. Section 16 further states that people have the right to information and it is up to the media to get that information and disseminate it.

As it has been said that all the rights go with responsibilities,so I think it is up to all journalists to act responsibly whenever they are performing their duties to avoid to violate that right to information.To install cameras in someone's house,be it government official without that person's knowledge is unethical and hat journalist could be sued for that.

The newly in-process Secrecy Bill will only bring confusions amongst the citizens of this country and restriction to information for journalists.It is well-known that South Africa has the highest corruption rate in the world and most of it in the government by the government officials.In a democratic country the goverment must be for the people.

How can it be that the goverment that has been elected by the people have secrets? People need to know everything that has to do with their goverment and it is the duty of the media to inform them.The media will not be able to perform their duties if  the goverment is not willing to dish out the information that needs to be given to the people.

The media must not be seen as the enemy of the goverment but the mediator between the goverment and its people.If the media are censored then there will be no developments in this country and the rights of people and the media to information would be violated by the goverment.I am against this new in-process Secrecy Bill. 

1 comment:

Sphe said...

I like your piece Tiragalo. I like what you call 'responsibility', that we as journalists should practise ethically. Under the media theories, there is one called, Development theory; it has a principle saying, if the economic state of the country is at stake, the state should restrict the media. Now the question is, is the government implementing this bill for the public interest of to hide their dirty linen so people will not know what corruption they do? I think you can also do a good piece on that one.