Project Description

SANEF OSF-SA Grantee Open Society Foundation for South Africa #SAElections2019

The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all areas of the South African media.

SANEF are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media.

SANEF promotes excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research, education and training programmes.

Media Freedom Defender Project


The project has three main objectives:

  1. To strengthen SANEF’s capacity so that it in turn can strengthen the capacity of the media industry to fulfill its critical information role during the election and pre-election periods.
  2. To strengthen the capacity of journalists to better cover elections, to build the capacity of journalists to better protect themselves and to combat the spread of fake news during the election and pre-election periods.
  3. To create public service announcements to promote the importance of credible media in elections, the importance of journalists, why journalists should be protected and how to combat fake news.


  • SANEF have designed an elections portal that can be accessed from the SANEF website. This includes elections materials specifically designed for SA journalists including a SANEF handbook and a safety toolkit, drafted by the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ) based in New York. Further, the material includes a workbook on “Decoding the Code” drafted by outgoing Press Ombud, Johan Retief. The workbook takes journalists step-by-step through the 2019 Press Code.
  • On 5 March SANEF began running provincial workshops in Cape Town. Also, on 5 March SANEF ran a joint workshop with the IEC, ICASA, the SABC and MMA on covering elections. Journalist workshops will be run in all 9 provinces.