Tribunal – not if, but when

2010-09-23 09:34

The question was not if a media appeals tribunal should be set up, but why it has taken so long to investigate the proposal.

This was what discussions revolved around at the ANC’s national general council (NGC), said Lindiwe Zulu, who briefed delegates in Durban yesterday on behalf of the media and communication commission.

She told Beeld newspaper in a report today that delegates wanted to know why the resolution of the 2007 Polokwane conference to investigate the possibility of a media appeals tribunal for print media had not been put to action yet.

“Delegates wanted to know why the recommendation has not been implemented yet. Ways were discussed on how to ensure that it [an investigation] does indeed happen,” said Zulu.

The ANC wants an independent statutory body accountable to Parliament to deal with complaints against newspapers, instead of only using the self-regulatory system of the Press Ombudsman who currently deals with complaints.

The 2007 document on the party’s resolutions states: “Conference adopts the recommendation of the policy conference that the establishment of a MAT [Media Appeals Tribunal] be investigated...

“Conference notes that the creation of a MAT would strengthen, complement and support the current self-regulatory institutions (Press Ombudsman/Press Council) in the public interest.”

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