NEWS & ANALYSIS

Kate Skinner appointed as Executive Director – SANEF

She will run affairs of organisation, coordinate advocacy work and assists in raising funds

SANEF appoints Kate Skinner as Executive Director

31 January 2018

The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) has announced the appointment of experienced media scholar, researcher and activist Dr Kate Skinner as executive director.

Sanef is the largest independent organisation representing editors and senior journalists in the country.

The executive director runs the affairs of Sanef on a full-time basis, coordinates the organisation’s advocacy work and assists in raising funds for our media freedom projects.

Skinner has a long and outstanding track record of media freedom advocacy. For the past two decades she has done work for various organisations and watchdogs dedicated to promoting fair, quality and ethical journalism, to defend the right of journalists to report without fear or favour.

Skinner has over 20 years’ experience in the media industry, including chairing the board of the Freedom of Expression Institute (FXI), as a director of Kagiso educational television and most recently founding the Save our SABC (SOS) coalition. In 2017, she received her PhD from Wits University on public service broadcasting in the digital age.

On her watch, SOS successfully lobbyied for the withdrawal of the Draft Public Service Broadcasting Bill of 2009 which was designed to increase the powers of the minister in controlling the day-to-day operations of the SABC. Most recently, SOS won a landmark court case that prevents the minister of communications from appointing SABC executives.

Skinner joins Sanef following the successful relaunch of the 21-year old organisation that remains the vanguard of media freedom as an integral part of strengthening our democracy.

“We are delighted to welcome Kate to Sanef,” chairperson Mahlatse Mahlase said.

“We believe her long-standing commitment and passion to an independent media will strengthen Sanef and reinvigorate our contribution to strengthening media freedom in South Africa,” Mahlase said.

Kate joins Sanef as we intensify our campaign to bring on board ordinary South Africans to be at the forefront of protecting the rights of journalists and defend them against intimidation, attack or harassment.

Last year Sanef launched a legal defence fund to enable us to defend court cases that affect the right of journalists to work freely in our democracy. We continue to call on individuals, organisations and cooperate South Africa to contribute to this fund.

Skinner said Sanef had a “critical role to play in building a strong, free, quality and diverse media. I am delighted to have been given this opportunity to strengthen this very important organisation.”

Issued by Mahlatse Mahlase, SANEF Chairperson, 31 January 2018