Press ombudsman slow, unfair - Cosatu

2012-01-20 12:05
Cape Town - The press ombudsman takes too long to make rulings and insists on an unfair requirement that complainants sign away their right to take further action through the courts, the Congress of the SA Trade Unions (Cosatu) said on Friday.

In a submission to a commission holding public hearings on the regulation of print media, Cosatu said self regulation in the print media "sounds good in theory" but had not worked in practice.

Unconstitutional requirement

"The ombudsman is under-funded and under-staffed," it said.

"He takes too long to make rulings and insists on an unfair, and probably unconstitutional requirement, that anyone who lodges a complaint must sign away their right to take further action through the courts."

Cosatu said its comments on the media appeals tribunal (MAT) and "the numerous associated problems identified with the existing regulatory mechanisms" were constrained because its constitutional structures had not yet adopted a comprehensive response to the proposal to establish a MAT.

"The Cosatu central executive committee decided that it could not support a MAT until it was made clearer as to how it would be constituted and how the independence of similar bodies had been safeguarded in other countries."

Cosatu said there was a strong case motivating the introduction of more stringent regulatory mechanisms for the media with more independence and "more teeth".

Advertising revenue

The general dependence on commercial advertising revenue raised serious questions about the overall orientation and commercial bias of the print and online media.

The concept of "independence" would commonly be construed to mean free from bias and influence of the state, political parties, and economic interests.

"Against this background, the media cannot be described as strictly independent in every sense," Cosatu said.

The biggest concern with both the protection of state information bill and the MAT was that they could be misused to suppress the publication of matters of legitimate public concern and to protect those guilty of unethical or criminal acts.

It was therefore essential to strike the right balance between the right to publish potentially damaging but true allegations, and the right for individuals and organisations to be protected from false allegations.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cosatu  |  media
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
17 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

This is what South Africans Googled in 2014!

Find out who and what South Africans were most curious about in 2014!

 
 

I love summer.24

This hilarious song is your new holiday anthem
The world's least visited destination is breathtaking!
LOL treadmill fail!
Google’s top searches of 2014

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

2DAYS ONLY – 30% off Appliances

Coffee makers, blenders, fans, juicers and more. T&Cs apply. Shop now!

2 DAYS ONLY – 40% off books

Get 40% off when you buy 2 books. For two days only! T&Cs apply. Buy now!

Up to 50% off on outdoor gear

Save on chairs, blankets, cooler bags, umbrellas and more. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy 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

You may be emotionally defensive or reserved today. You need to step up today as there may be extra responsibilities to deal with....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.