Ombudsman mostly rules against press

2010-09-19 18:43

Durban - Of all the complaints against the print media, 64% have been upheld so far this year, press ombudsman Joe Thloloe said in Durban on Sunday.

He was reporting back to a SA National Editors' Forum (Sanef) 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 the finding was 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 (ANC)."

The ANC national general council starts on Monday 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 damaged 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.