Perhaps no need for media tribunal – Duarte

2012-06-29 07:09

The ANC is “satisfied to a large degree” by the recommendations of the Press Freedom Commission, ANC national executive committee member Jessie Duarte has said.

Duarte told journalists at the party’s policy conference at a briefing last night that the ANC was satisfied that the commission’s recommendations had addressed the party’s concerns about media accountability.

“We always feel that the outcome (of complaints about stories) is always the same. The apology is a very small space on page 15 when the story was a page one story. We understand from the Press Freedom Commission that the apology will come on the appropriate page, but financial sanction could also be applied.

“When the media house continues with the same kind of behaviour, (it) could also be met with a certain kind of response,” she said.

Duarte admitted that some in the media felt slightly uneasy with the recommendations, “but we are satisfied”.

She also hinted that there might not be a need for a media appeals tribunal, as the party had suggested at its Polokwane congress in 2007.

In its resolution in 2007, the party said Parliament should investigate the desirability of a media appeals tribunal, and that process was already happening.

“We are saying to ANC parliamentarians that the ANC is satisfied to a large degree about what the Press Freedom Commission has decided,” she said.

She also said:

» The ANC was trying to use Twitter and Facebook to communicate with younger members;
» SABC funding needs to consider more local content and it needs to consider more advertisers;
» The post office must ensure that everyone in South Africa has an address;
» Television set-top boxes must become multi-purpose so that every SA household also has an email address;
» Print media should have a braille page for blind readers.

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