Ombudsman mostly rules against press

2010-09-20 08:19

Sixty-four percent of complaints against the print media have been upheld so far this year, press ombudsman Joe Thloloe said in Durban yesterday.

He was reporting back to a SA National Editors’ Forum council meeting on statistics on the year so far regarding complaints of inaccuracies against newspapers.

“A close look at the statistics reveals that so far this year the office has given 44 rulings in 36 working weeks.”

Of these, 16 complaints, or 36%, were dismissed entirely, in other words in favour of the newspapers.

“Twenty-eight were either partially or fully upheld... this represents 64% of all the findings,” Thloloe said.

“This is far, far from bias in favour of newspapers, as alleged by the African National Congress.”

The ANC national general council starts today in Durban and will discuss, among other things, the proposed establishment of a media tribunal.

Critics of the newspaper’s self-regulatory system have maintained that the press ombudsman is insufficient to deal with damage caused by incorrect newspaper reports.

Thloloe said that of the 126 complaints lodged with him so far this year, 43 (34%) had been lodged in past two months alone. 

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