Ministers don't disrespect media - GCIS

2013-01-21 16:31
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Johannesburg - Ministers do not deliberately seek to disrespect journalists, government said on Monday.

"We are mindful of the pressures that reporters are under as they work towards meeting their deadlines and we appreciate this," the Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) said in a statement.

"Importantly, we also strive at all times to display a high level of professionalism when we interact with members of the media."

GCIS said government's work was enhanced by good and effective communication.

"It is therefore not in our interest to deliberately disrespect the work we do."

GCIS was responding to an opinion piece in Friday's Business Report, in which it was argued that journalists were "increasingly becoming a doormat for politicians".

"It has become fashionable these days for government ministers to call a press conference and then cancel it at the last minute, without giving a reasons or an apology," it read.

"Or a minister calls a press conference and they take their time to pitch up and not give a reason for keeping the media waiting."

The GCIS said it was unfair to generalise on an incident "wherein the journalist felt short changed".

"Government communication seeks at all times to operate in a professional manner."

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