Print and online media separate
Johannesburg - Print and online publications are different forms of media that require separate regulation, the Press Freedom Commission heard on Tuesday.
"There is the question of whether or not the Press Code is necessary for online media, but the issue is that there needs to be different complaint mechanisms because the mediums are so different," University of SA media analyst Julie Reid said at the commission's hearings in Johannesburg.
"The 14-day limit for complaints is an unreasonable amount of time online because of the archival nature of the web," she said.
"The Press Code also needs to distinguish whether users or online publishers are responsible for comments on the site."
Reid said the Press Code, or any future form of online regulation, needed to specify the type of sanctions a web publication would be subjected to.
"It needs to say how long the apology will appear on the site, and where it would be positioned. We recommend that the offending article carries a link to an apology so that readers can access it."
She said there needed to be a distinction between news websites and opinion-driven news sites like The Daily Maverick.