Media, South Africa

South Africa’s Mail and Guardian newspaper blacks out pages in censorship row

The Mail & Guardian, one of South Africa’s leading newspapers, has blacked out several items in its latest edition as a form of protest against attempts to stifle one of its reports. The resulting publication, which you can see images of here, makes a mockery of attempts to prevent the paper from reporting certain allegations against a member of the South African government.

Supporters of the newspaper say that censorship reminiscent of the apartheid-era is being applied to protect the figure in questions, while others argue that the paper’s story is unfounded and that it would be wrong to go to print. The paper reportedly received a legal warning about going ahead shortly before they were due to go to print.

Either way, the result is that the story has ballooned and become internationally noteworthy, while the details – while not in the newspaper – are fairly easily discoverable online. All of which shows once again that attempts to stifle the press rarely work in the long-run.

About Sarah Bosdiccia

Sarah Bosdiccia is a writer, journalist, blogger and editorial assistant. In the past, she has worked in the local newspaper business and has taught journalism modules at undergraduate level. She doesn't 'do' Facebook but you can follow her at @sarah_bosdiccia.

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