‘The loss of even a single journalist is a loss to the country’
In this week’s letter to SA, President Cyril Ramaphosa highlights the media’s accomplishments and challenges
In many countries, the coronavirus pandemic has required the limitation of many civil liberties and put social cohesion to the test. But those with strong institutions, vigilant judicial systems and a robust media have been able to prevent human rights from being undermined and the authority of the state being abused.
It has been six months since the national state of disaster was proclaimed. Despite the unprecedented nature of the disease and the immense challenge of placing a country of 58 million people under lockdown, we have fared well. We have managed to contain the spread of the disease, primarily because of the cooperation and vigilance of all citizens.
This is in no small part due to the sterling work of our media. We owe a debt of gratitude to SA’s hardworking and tenacious journalists. They have kept our people informed by disseminating key health messages about social distancing and hygiene. They have done so under extremely trying conditions, often with limited resources. They have told the stories of the effects of lockdown on the lives of people and their businesses. They have been out in the villages, towns and cities, bringing stories of ordinary people and drawing national attention to problems in hospitals and clinics, prompting government action...