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Cape Town Press Club to review membership policy - ANC

Office of Chief Whip says politicians shouldn't be allowed to infiltrate press body's ranks

CAPE TOWN PRESS CLUB AGREES TO REVIEW MEMBERSHIP POLICY

8 May 2012

The Office of the ANC Chief Whip in Parliament welcomes an undertaking by the Cape Town Press Club to discuss its membership admission criteria and decide whether it is desirable to have politicians as club members. The press club has indicated in the media today that it will review its membership policy at its annual general meeting.

The announcement follows an appeal we made at the weekend, in which we called for a review of the club's membership admission criteria and the role members should play during press club briefings. The call was made in light of the incident involving the press club and the Minister of Agriculture Fisheries and Forestry, Tina Joemat-Pieterson, during the club's briefing last week.

We are therefore pleased that the club has committed to look into this matter.

It is indeed our view that permitting politicians to infiltrate the ranks of a press body, and even act as journalists during press briefings, makes a mockery of the independence of the media and undermines the objectivity with which the press should conduct its business.

We welcome the assurance by the National Press Club, which is not allied to the Cape Town Press Club, that its membership policy does not permit politicians as club members. 

Statement issued by the Office of the ANC Chief Whip, May 8 2012

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