Media punishment should be ‘proportionate to harm caused’

2011-02-17 11:12

Punishment of the media should be proportionate to the harm caused by irresponsible reporting, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) said today.

“There needs to be better ways to deal with offences of the press,” MMA spokesperson Taryn Hinton said in a press council hearings at the University of the Witwatersrand.

“The punishment dished out to a newspaper should be equal to the nature of the offence. If a gross violation article was published on a front page the apology should be on the front page as well.”

The system of punishment used should also be in line with the constitution.

Hinton did not think the proposed Medial Appeals Tribunal was a solution, because it had the potential of clamping down on media freedom.

“The current media self regulatory system needs to be improved; the quality of reporting needs to be improved; and more accountability is needed from the media,” she said.

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