National police commissioner General Kgomotso Phahlane has vowed to stop attacks on journalists by police officers and communities following a meeting held with the SA National Editors Forum (Sanef).
Sanef said it requested a meeting with police top management to tackle attacks on journalists in which police had been implicated.
“General Phahlane condemned attacks on journalists and said he would issue a memo by next week to all police officers appraising them of the need to respect journalists at crime scenes. The meeting agreed to formalise existing agreements to enhance understanding between police and the media,” the organisation said on Monday.
These agreements included arrangements for editors to be invited to address national, provincial and regional meetings of the SAPS leadership and police recruits. Editors would in turn invite police officers into newsrooms to enhance their understanding of media operations.
“The incidents occurred over a period of time and included instances where police officers allegedly forced journalists to delete pictures from their cameras and physical manhandling of others. The incidents raised by Sanef included actions of police at crime and protest scenes, and the behaviour of VIP Protections Services.”
Sanef and the SAPS had collaborated in producing a guide for police officers and journalists on how to behave at crime scenes, but the initiative was not effective, said Sanef. The SAPS Standing Order 156 that regulates police interface with journalists was being updated to include digital media.
South Africa Today – South Africa News