Independent Media has noted the statement released by the South African National Editors Forum (Sanef) on Friday in relation to a story that appeared in some of our newspaper titles that outlined a plot to discredit Independent Media.

We wish to respond to the Sanef statement by asking the following questions:

Dear Sanef

  1. Why do you condemn our journalists and editors for speaking truth to power? 
  2. Why do you not accord Independent Media editors and journalists the same respect that you accord journalists, editors and owners of other media houses? 
  3. Why have you repeatedly remained silent over the last five years when Independent Media journalists were attacked yet condemn others when our competitor journalists are attacked, and feign solidarity? 
  4. Why do you question the integrity of Independent Media’s journalists and editors as if you can read their minds? 
  5. Why do you condone the blatant use of our competitors' platforms to attack the integrity of Independent Media journalists and editors?
  6. Why do you not respect the opinions of our editors and journalists by second-guessing their motives and exerting pressure on Independent Media shareholders?
  7. Why does it not concern you that Independent Media has not been granted the right of reply by these “respected journalists” on various platforms?  
  8. Why did you not condemn Tiso Blackstar, Daily Maverick and AmaBhungane when their journalists did not apply the most basic principles of journalism which is to hear the other side?
  9. Why did you, at the outset, oppose the change of Independent Media’s ownership, leadership and ethos? 
  10. Why do you condemn a black-owned controlled and managed media house without applying the same standards to its competitors?
  11. Why did you not support and rejoice the significant continent-wide opportunity that Independent's inclusion in the listing of Sagarmatha Technologies would have for meant for African journalists? 
  12. Why can't SANEF grasp the need for proper media and economic transformation in South Africa?
  13. Why are so many Editors and journalists so disgruntled with the lack of transformation at Sanef?
  14. Why do you not support the establishment of a commission of inquiry into the conduct of these media houses? 
  15. Why have you not asked for the media to account for their transgressions during apartheid via a truth and reconciliation commission?
  16. Why have you not remained objective at the first mention of Stratcom like question the behaviour by some of your funders? 
  17. Why has the mention of Stratcom touched on such a sore nerve to awaken you from your slumber while our journalists are under fire?
  18. Why have you not asked journalists that worked in the apartheid intelligence services such as Stratcom to come clean and ask for forgiveness?
  19. Why are you so afraid of revealing who worked for Stratcom and challenging media organisations who apply Stratcom-esque strategies?
  20. Why can't you uphold the most basic principles of ethical journalism by contacting Independent Media before you release a statement?

Also read: Stratcom 2018 exposed