The SABC wants you to comment on its editorial policies

2017-07-13 19:35
(SABC website)

(SABC website)

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Johannesburg – The South African Broadcasting Corporation is asking the public to make submissions and comments on its editorial policies.

Speaking at the launch of the editorial policies review project on Thursday, interim board chairperson Khanyisile Kweyama said: "This project is intended at making sure that the public is properly consulted and that the final policies that will emanate from the process are compliant, legitimate and reflective of South Africa’s views and sentiments."

In 2003, Kweyama said, the SABC developed editorial policies following the amendment of the Broadcasting Act of 1999.

Those policies were amended and developed through a public consultation process that took place across the country.

She said the policies were subsequently filed with the Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (Icasa) as required by the Broadcasting Act.

"In 2013, the SABC started a process to review the editorial policies, which then culminated in the 2016 policies that were filed with Icasa. However, when those policies were lodged in 2016, there were a number of organisations and members of the public who raised objections with Icasa. They felt that they were not properly consulted."

Kweyama said the main complaint was that the SABC allegedly failed to adhere to section 6.6 of the Broadcasting Act regarding public participation.

"There was inadequate public consultation in the adoption of the 2016 amended editorial policies. Icasa ruled in favour of the complainants."

She said, because of the ruling, the broadcaster was forced to revert back to the 2004 editorial policies.

This means that the SABC is currently governed by the 2004 editorial policies until it properly conducts the public consultation process, amends the policies, gets approval from the board, and then submits the final draft to Icasa.

'We are trying to build back the integrity that was lost'

The review process will look at six policies, which include language, religion and local content.

Two teams will travel around South Africa to gather the public’s input and once that is done, the interim board will compile a draft.

The draft will be sent out to the public for comments and, thereafter, the board will compile a final draft that will be sent to Icasa for approval.

"We are calling on the public to make inputs so that they are part of shaping the future of the public broadcaster. We will be going far and wide, we will be holding sessions in urban and rural areas, we will be going to town halls and even under the trees to ensure that everybody has an opportunity to make their submissions as the public."

Acting group CEO Tseliso Ralitabo said: "We are trying to build back the integrity that was lost and we are hoping that the executives that will be in place will comply and adhere to the guidelines of the policies that we will be putting in place."

Submissions are now open and the deadline for the written submissions is August 31, 2017.

The current copy of the editorial policies is available on www.sabc.co.za/editorialpolicy.

For more information on the broadcaster’s consultation process, the public can go to http://www.sabc.co.za/news and written submissions can be emailed to editorial@sabc.co.za.

Submissions can also be posted to SABC Private Bag X1, Aucklandpark, Johannesburg, South Africa, 2006.

The public can also call 011 714 9111 or 011 7149797, or fax 011 714 4508.

Read more on:    sabc

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