[EDITORIAL] We will not be silenced
On Friday, Black First Land First (BLF) issued a hideous statement "warning white journalists" that they have decided to target seven of our industry colleagues.
They labelled them "white racists that masquerade as journalists, in defence of white monopoly capital".
It's outrageous and a blatant attempt to silence the media. It must be viewed for what it really is - a dangerous, sinister move by people with dark motives.
Now more than ever we must continue to stand up to thugs and bullies who threaten our media freedom and who are jeopardising our very democracy.
I've said it before, and I will say it again... WE WILL NOT BE SILENCED!
Our country can't afford the cancer of silence right now.
We must also continue to expose wrongdoing in all sectors of our society and holding authorities to account. We must hold a mirror up to our communities. It's what we signed up for when we became journalists.
I do not view this as an attack on whiteness or on white journalists.
On the contrary - for me, this is an attack on ALL journalists and our entire media fraternity.
This is an attack on all the independent, credible voices that they are trying desperately to mute.
To suggest that, as BLF has done, black journalists "must repent and ask forgiveness from black people for being used by white monopoly capital" is divisive and wrong.
To blatantly use race as a criterion to be regarded as a credible voice is downright dangerous. It takes us back to dark days in our country.
Now more than ever our voices need to be louder than ever before!
The South African Editors' Forum (Sanef) - an organisation I am very proud to serve as its deputy chairperson - is also not taking this lying down.
We have written an urgent letter of demand to BLF.
SANEF's written to Black First Land First following their statement today in which they 'warn white journalists'.— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) June 30, 2017
Here's our full letter... pic.twitter.com/bW59GctVz0
Katy Katopodis is EWN group editor-in-chief. Follow her on Twitter: @KatyKatopodis