ZCC's call for boycott equivalent to editorial interference – SANEF

Forum says church must withdraw its call on members to stop buying newspaper titles owned by Tiso Blackstar

SANEF statement on ZCC call for boycott of Tiso Blackstar newspapers

18 September 2017

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) urges the Zion Christian Church (ZCC) to withdraw its call on their members to stop buying newspaper titles owned by the Tiso Blackstar media group.

In SANEF's view, the call for a consumer boycott is tantamount to editorial interference, bullying, and censorship in order to stop what is perceived as unflattering coverage of the church's activities.

As an organisation that stands for media freedom and transparency, we encourage the church's leadership to approach the available dispute-resolution institutions, the first being the Press Ombudsman.

The ZCC also has the option of the courts which, together with the Press Ombudsman, are institutions better-placed to deal with ethical and legal grievances against the media.

A call for a consumer boycott of any media outlet should be discouraged and should not be acceptable in a constitutional democracy where multiple channels for redress are available.

Issued by SANEF, 18 September 2017