The South African National Editors Forum (SANEF) has cautioned Cricket South Africa (CSA) against conduct on the sporting organisation’s part that it says amounts to the intimidation of journalists. CSA admitted to revoking permission it had given to journalists to report on developments in cricket particularly if they did so in ways that it does not like.
“SANEF strongly rejects the attempts by CSA to intimidate journalists critical of the sport’s governing body by revoking their credentials to cover the game at the country’s major stadiums. SANEF believes CSA’s actions will have a chilling effect on the media’s ability to cover all aspects of cricket, not just what happens on the field of play, but also what happens behind closed doors where the sport is administered,” states SANEF in a statement issued this afternoon.
SANEF goes on to describe CSA’s actions as bullying which is unacceptable and should be fiercely resisted.
The five reporters whose accreditation was withdrawn have since been allowed to continue reporting on cricket independently after a meeting between some of them with CSA Officials at Newlands in Cape Town yesterday according to SANEF.
“The media will not relent in exposing the failings of cricket administrators in preparation for what should be a major sporting event. SANEF calls on CSA to apologise to the journalists involved, to ensure that they have access to stadiums and to respect the independence of the media. We will closely monitor the situation and won’t hesitate to take further steps.” concludes CSA in its statement.
Meanwhile, the biggest sponsor of the South African men’s national cricket team, Standard Bank says it will meet with CSA today in the wake of the ban on journalists which it says has brought the name of cricket into disrepute.
Thulani Sibeko, Standard Bank Group Chief Marketing Officer says South Africans and the broader cricket community deserve to know about developments within CSA, especially those that relate to governance and conduct.
“Standard Bank is hopeful that we will emerge from the meeting with CSA assured that our concerns, and those of other stakeholders, will be addressed speedily,”