The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has condemned the cyberbullying of a City Press journalist.
Sanef said cyberbullying and harassment of journalists, particularly women, continues to be one of the biggest concerns faced by the media across the world, with South Africa being no exception.
This comes after fans of social media influencer Faith Nketsi sent abuse and derogatory messages to City Press entertainment reporter, Julia Madibogo.
According to Sanef, the abuse came after Nketsi publicly shared Madibogo’s cellphone number with her followers on social media.
This was after Madibogo contacted Nketsi, seeking her comment on the story the newspaper published regarding Nketsi’s wedding and rumoured pregnancy.
Sanef said it is disgusted and infuriated by the latest incident of abuse against journalists.
“We are happy and encouraged to be informed by the management at City Press that Madibogo has laid charges with the police, and they have also engaged their legal representatives to look into this matter.”
“Cyberbullying, among other harassments of journalists, has in recent times been on the increase and should be condemned. Cyberbullying does not only put the lives of journalists in danger, but also makes it difficult for journalists to freely do their work,” Sanef said.
Last year, eNCA reporter Lindsay Dentlinger received abuse and rape threats after being accused of racism after clips emerged on social media of her conducting interviews during the Budget Speech.
A video circulated on social media suggested Dentlinger had been racially selective when enforcing mask rules during her televised interviews.
Late journalist Karima Brown was also cyberbullied in the run-up to the 2019 general elections, when she fell foul of Economic Freedom Fighter (EFF) leader Julius Malema for mistakenly sending a message meant for colleagues to an EFF WhatsApp group.
EFF supporters sent Brown rape and death threats on Twitter after Malema published the journalist’s number. She took Malema and the EFF to court and won.
Brown described it as a matter of principle.
“I won’t be cyberbullied and censored by any politician, including Mr Malema,” she said at the time.
Sanef said it has always called on those affected by news stories they deem factually incorrect, to lay complaints with relevant bodies such as the Press Council and the Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa.
“These bodies have been set up to primarily address any issues South Africans may have when it comes to accuracy and ethical conduct,” Sanef said