Sanef: There’s good progress in ensuring media independence

World Press Freedom Day’s 2016 theme is 'celebration of access to information and freedom of expression'.

Picture: Vumani Mkhize/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The South African National Editor's Forum (Sanef) says there's been good progress in ensuring media independence in the country.

The forum says an announcement by the African National Congress to introduce legislation to have the law of criminal defamation repealed has been a highlight for media freedom.

Sanef's Raymond Louw says this day should be used to remember journalists who have died while on the field.

"In 2015, the committee to protect journalists recorded that 72 journalist died and this year's so far, Unesco has recorded 29 journalists have died while reporting the news."

Meanwhile, as the world celebrates World Press Freedom Day, Gender Links says women remain underrepresented in the media.

Civil society groups are in Johannesburg this evening to commemorate press freedom.

The theme this year is "the celebration of access to information and freedom of expression".

Research network Afrobarometer's Sibusiso Nkomo says their recent studies show that South Africans still respect the role of the media as a watchdog.

"People are saying government's restrictions are quite harmful to media when they are trying to do that kind of work."

Gender Links' Colleen Lowe Morna says women living in the SADC region are still under-represented in media.

"Where are women most visible do you think? In television."

Various groups today have heard how there's been a decline in press freedom since last year with the global average sitting at 48,9 percent.