South Africa is embroiled in a national debate over media censorship. This, after the SABC made the editorial decision to stop airing video of violent protests. The SABC has maintained the move was to protect journalists from becoming victims while covering such events.
Last month, violent protests broke out in Pretoria after the governing party ANC overruled a local choice for their mayoral candidate. SABC did not cover those protests, and the public became outraged. Several senior SABC journalists have been suspended for disagreeing with this new editorial directive. And the acting CEO resigned after deciding he could no longer stand on the side of SABC. Some claim the move signaled a return to apartheid times when the SABC was a mouthpiece for the government.
Some form of censorship exists in media outlets around the world. Organisations choose what they will and will not cover on a daily basis, which inevitably means they are in some way censoring the news by the very virtue of picking what is presented to viewers. So where is the line between sound editorial judgement and censorship?