South African government official commends media for playing vital role during COVID-19

2021-05-03 14:30:45 GMT2021-05-03 22:30:45(Beijing Time) Xinhua English

JOHANNESBURG, May 3 (Xinhua) -- The media plays a critical role in disseminating information, countering fake news particularly during the COVID-19, said Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) Director General Phumla Williams.

Williams made the remarks while commemorating World Press Freedom Day Monday.

She said increasing fake news has negative impact on individuals, the public and democracy.

"In an era of instant information sharing, as well as the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for trustworthy and fact checked news for public good is crucial. The GCIS welcomes its regular interactions with the media through platforms that cater for strengthening relationships while also allowing us to speak about the work of government and to share our successes and challenges," said Williams, thanking the media for spreading information about the state of national preparedness, precautionary and educative measures to be taken and general information about the pandemic.

She said the government remembers journalists who died while performing their duties and is committed to upholding press freedom.

The South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) Secretary General Mahlatse Mahlase said: "SANEF believes journalists have played a significant role for the public good especially under the COVID-19 pandemic. We will continue to campaign for media that is ethical and truthful at our upcoming Ethics conference later this month."

The World Press Freedom Day falls on May 3 when the world recognizes the importance of press freedom. Enditem