Press ombud must issue 'space fines'

2012-01-31 19:51
Video

Press freedom hearings - Day 2

2012-01-31 14:06

During the second day of press freedom hearings in Johannesburg the ANC said an independent media appeals tribunal is the most effective way to regulate print media. WATCH

Johannesburg - Newspapers should be issued with a "space fine" when they contravene aspects of the Press Code, Independent Newspapers said on Tuesday.

"If a monetary fine is issued, newspapers will just include a certain amount for fines in their yearly budget. It will be like water on a duck's back," The Star's editor Moegsien Williams said in a presentation to the Press Freedom Commission's (PFC) public hearings in Johannesburg.

"The beautiful thing of a space fine is that the entire organisation, including the management of newspapers will be involved. It puts a greater pressure on the editorial staff to get things right."

Williams said a space fine would allocate space in the newspaper for an apology, depending on the nature of the infraction.

Sharper teeth

He said the fine would give the ombudsman "sharper teeth" while still allowing the media to regulate itself.

"The damage to democracy will be incalculable if tampered with. A media appeals tribunal will be the death knell of a free press in South Africa."

City Press editor Ferial Haffajee, who spoke on behalf of Media24, said the organisation favoured self-regulation over independent regulation, and opposed state involvement.

"We think that it [self-regulation] is a standard-setter, that it sets the values and ethics. It can determine a culture and can be innovative when the media landscape changes.

Chilling effect

"We believe that any state involvement in regulation will have a chilling effect. I'd be lying to you if I said that in the past 18 months I haven't begun to feel those chilled winds already."

She said she was not always happy with the ombudsman's decisions, but knew that following the Press Code made her a better journalist and editor.

"We once called a culvert a low-lying bridge. The ombud finds fault no matter how trivial, and we have to adhere to it. Our reporters have now had some engineering training, so now we will call a culvert, a culvert," she joked.

She said the City Press had issued a page two apology for the error. It had also issued a front page apology for a story on ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa.

"Phosa said the ruling and the front page apology had made amends and [had] set things right," she said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    moegsien williams  |  ferial haffajee  |  media
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Cape mob victim found alive

2014-11-20 22:30
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
13 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

10 ways to drive her wild!

Fill her nights with passion and drive her wild with the best sex ever!

 
 

Men24.com

Hottie of the day: Angela
10 things you should never say after sex
Guy code: Looking good for the ladies
SA surfer rides massive waves in Maui

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Magical Massinga

Spend 5 nights at the gorgeous Massinga Beach Lodge in Mozambique and only pay for 4 from R13 220 per person sharing. Includes return flights, accommodation, transfers and romantic turndown. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Up to 35% off books

Save up to 35% on the latest page-turners. While stocks last. Shop now!

20% off ALL TV Series

Choose from 1000’s of the hottest TV Series . While stocks last. Shop now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Seen something you like in our catalogue?

Find the perfect gift and save up to R5000 – As seen on the catalogue. Hurry and shop now!

Save up to R2100 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There is a strong desire to be unique, self sufficient, right and in control today. Your mind is fast today and you may have the...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.