The South African National Editors' Forum (Sanef) crafted a plan of action on Wednesday to fight attempts by the ruling African National Congress (ANC) to regulate the media, which included a proposed tribunal and the introduction of the Protection of Information Bill.
"I think one should look at the climate in which this bill has been brought in... It becomes a horrifying list of repressive acts against the media by the government," said Sanef media freedom expert Raymond Louw.
"...This poses all kind of horrors in the gathering of information."
Sanef chairperson Mondli Makhanya said that there was a "mobilisation against the media", not only on a political level but also amongst communities on the ground.
He warned that it was likely that the ANC government would pass the Media Appeals Tribunal for print media through Parliament by the end of the year.
Several editors and journalists suggested a "multi-pronged approach" against this, which included "broad engagement" with those within the ANC, civic organisations, nongovernmental organisations and the Congress of South African Trade Unions.
A committee was formed to discuss more ways on how to deal with the situation. But, if all else failed, Sanef would take the fight to court, said Makhanya.
"We will resort to the courts, to the highest courts," he said.