SABC staff move away from the trough

2014-04-13 15:00

For a long time, decision-makers at the SABC have come to regard the public broadcaster as their little fiefdom they run on behalf of Luthuli House.

From the board level to senior news executives, they have, with little shame, taken orders from whoever is the master at Luthuli House.

It is a continuation of an old tradition inherited from the National Party, which exercised tight control over the public broadcaster since its inception.

Despite condemnations from all corners of society, opposition parties and even negative rulings from the Broadcast Complaints Commission, nothing has deterred this agenda.

Civil society bodies even formed the Save Our SABC campaign to directly take up policy matters, with little consequence.

It seems each board that gets appointed simply picks up the baton from the old ones. We report elsewhere in this edition of ongoing efforts to suppress fair and proper coverage of opposition parties as we head to elections.

But we are much heartened by senior editorial staff members, who have decided to fight back in the interest of protection of editorial independence and integrity.

The SABC editorial management team took on their bosses at an election workshop last month where they sought to take back editorial control of their newsrooms from politicians.

Among other things, the resolution they adopted says they reject direct or indirect interference by any political party in editorial decisions.

It also says they will not allow commercial, political or personal considerations to influence decisions.

They commit to reflect our attitudes, opinions, values and artistic creativity, and offer a plurality of views and a variety of news and information. The staff have also commendably become whistle-blowers by exposing the rot.

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