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Media freedom: the case for a united front

Enough is enough... While many of us sit back and watch the skirmishes between editors and journalists, on the one hand, and the police and the state, on the other hand, it dawned on me that perhaps I should be more than an interested observer. After all, we in PR have a symbiotic relationship with people in the media, despite the fact that some journalists choose to ignore that fact.
And while there may still be some arrogant outliers, the truth is that if we are divided any further, the state will up the ante and continue to erode our freedom of expression and access to information. They will continue to intimidate journalists and editors and any thought of a 'free' media will disappear into the sunset.

Resist any attempts

We need to put a united front together to lobby and resist any attempts, however well meaning, or not, to curtail our constitutional rights.

I'm calling on media houses, advertisers, advertising and marketing agencies, communications professionals, media planners and anyone else to think carefully about the impacts of any attempts to limit any freedom, we as citizens of this country, enjoy.

It's time to stand up and be counted.

It's time for the broader media sector to get together and develop a strategy, to show the government that enough is enough.

This is important

I know you might be campaigned-to-death already, but this is important, people. As one editor put it: It's the thin edge of the wedge...

And, anyway, who better to put together a strategy, campaign and tactical plan to get this vitally important message across to a diverse target market? All the elements could be in place to make this a first. There certainly won't be any disinterested editors thumbing their noses at this; there won't be any journalists ignoring calls from desperate PROs.

The creatives could have a field day; media planners would be able to explore the outer limits of their ability; and the groundswell of support from everyone would give some food for thought to our government, when next it attempts to limit our access to information or more importantly, our right to know.

So, who's with me?

For more, go to Petition against freedom of expression attack and Freedom of expression under attack in South Africa.

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About Angelo Coppola

Angelo Coppola runs his own PR shop (Channel Managed PR), when not looking for something worthwhile to champion. He's also an ex-financial journalist. Email him at , follow him on Twitter at @angelo2711 and read his musings at www.posterous.com/angelo2711.