It’s a tough time for journalists covering protests, with media becoming targets of agitated protestors.
South African CBS correspondent, Lara Logan, was brutally attacked and sexually assaulted by a group of protestors last week after she became separated from colleagues. She had reported “heavy” intimidation of journalists earlier.
Now an e-TV cameraman and journalist have been attacked. Linge Ndabambi was covering the protests in Mpumalanga with reporter Jody Jacobs.
The South African National Editors’ Forum has issued a statement condemning the incident, saying it was “not an isolated incident”.
“The South African National Editors’ Forum (Sanef) is shocked and perturbed by the attack on e-TV cameraman Linge Ndabambi by some protesters while covering the unrest in Ermelo yesterday. We are particularly concerned that this is not an isolated incident but points to a growing tendency by some people to vent their frustrations on the media.
“Yesterday’s attack, in which Ndabambi was injured and a vehicle and broadcast equipment extensively damaged, follows a recent attack on journalists on two Mail& Guardian journalists in Ledig, North West, last year.
“Such attacks have also become a common occurrence during protests in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.
“We urge the organisers of such protests to put an end to such attacks and to take steps to ensure the safety of journalists. Attacking the messenger in this way does nobody any good. Endangering journalists and their equipment this way can only result in the media shunning such areas, making it impossible to tell stories and to inform the public. Sanef commends protesters who came to the aid of Ndamambi and e-TV reporter, Jody Jacobs.”