Every, year on 19 October, South Africa commemorates
and celebrates Media Freedom Day, previously known as “Black Wednesday”.
The commemoration of “Black Wednesday” and celebration of Media Freedom Day is not intended to distort history
but to reflect and remind our people of the brutality and immorality of the apartheid system, and promote media diversity and freedom.
Media plays a very important role in society as a source of information, education and entertainment.
Media is a powerful medium of communication that influences the understanding, perception and views of the society.
On the 19th October, in 1977, the apartheid Government unleashed a vicious clampdown on the Black Consciousness Movement (BCM) and the Mass Democratic Movement.
The apartheid Government, through the then Minister of Justice, Jimmy Kruger, banned 19 organisations, shut down two media titles
(The World and The Weekend World), and arrested newspaper editor Percy Qoboza and other journalists Information is knowledge.
A number of apartheid government critics were subsequently detained Information is knowledge.
These brutal actions and the kind of censorship were never seen again until the “state of emergency” in the mid-80s.
After the banning of The World, The Post continued publishing and was later changed into The Sowetan in 1981.
The Sowetan grew nationally and replaced The World as a newspaper targeting Black South African consumers.
One of The World’s former journalists, the late Aggrey Klaaste who was imprisoned in 1977 for nine months,
later on became the editor of The Sowetan. Mr Klaaste was later known for his “Nation Building” campaign.
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