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SA Press Council to 'remake' self-regulation, journalism

In the face of threats by the ruling ANC to establish a media appeals tribunal (MAT), the South African Press Council said it was seizing this opportunity to take a closer look at how it conducts its business by reviewing its constitution, its complaints procedure and the SA Press Code. It is thus inviting all interested individuals and organisations to submit their suggestions by Friday, 15 October 2010, to help it 'remake' the quality of journalism in SA.
SA Press Council to 'remake' self-regulation, journalism

Strengthen weak spots

It is believed that the Press Council, which has been warding off accusations of bias, weakness and untrustworthiness from the ANC and its alliance partners, is striving to strengthen its weak spots to become 'relevant' and 'unblemished' in a country where the media is constantly being seen as a bunch of counter-revolutionaries.

On Sunday, 19 September 2010, a SAPA news report carried on quoted press ombudsman Joe Thloloe as saying: "A closer look at the statistics reveals that, so far this year, the office has given 44 rulings in 36 working weeks."

SA Press Council to 'remake' self-regulation, journalism
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He said 64% of complaints have been upheld, 36% of which (16 complaints), were dismissed entirely. "In other words the finding was in favour of newspapers, and 28 were either partially or fully upheld. This represents 64% of all the findings.

"Far, far from bias"

"This is far, far from bias in favour of newspapers, as alleged by the ANC," he pointed out as he addressed a SANEF council meeting held in Durban over the weekend.

The office of the ombudsman said last week that it has already reviewed more than 60 press codes from various parts of the world, hoping to make amendments to the country's press code, if necessary, in the aim to improve the situation.

To contribute, download the three documents on, and send your suggestions to az.gro.namsdubmo@weiver, or write to the task team: PO Box 47 221, Parklands 2121, or fax +27 (0)11 484 3619.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 15 October.

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About Issa Sikiti da Silva

Issa Sikiti da Silva is a winner of the 2010 SADC Media Awards (print category). He freelances for various media outlets, local and foreign, and has travelled extensively across Africa. His work has been published both in French and English. He used to contribute to as a senior news writer.

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