South Africa's ruling party is proposing a Media Appeals Tribunal that would apply legal penalties for inaccurate reporting.

And parliament is set to vote on the Protection of Information Bill which would prevent the disclosure of any information deemed harmful to the national interest.

Persons found guilty of violating the act could be sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison.

Supporters of these reforms say the media unfairly targets the ruling African National Congress and its policies while civil rights groups argue that it is an attempt to cover-up ongoing corruption and mismanagement.

On Wednesday's Riz Khan we ask: How will media reforms impact freedom of speech and access to information in South Africa? Are the proposed laws targeting freedom of information or seeking to protect fair and accurate reporting?

We speak with Jackson Mthembu, an ANC spokesperson, and Anton Harber, the former editor of the South African weekly Mail and Guardian.

This episode of Riz Khan aired from Wednesday, October 6, 2010.

Source: Al Jazeera