Ombudsman finds The New Age negligent

2013-05-04 14:27

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Johannesburg - Reporters from The New Age should have asked DA leader Helen Zille or her office for comment on various allegations, including that the party was against transformation in the media, the Press Ombudsman said.

"The neglect to do this is in breach... of the Press Code..," said Ombudsman Johan Retief in his finding, issued on Saturday.

"A publication should usually seek the view of the subject of serious critical reportage in advance of publication…"

He found that the newspaper should have asked Zille or her office for comment.

The allegations included that the DA and big media houses had been colluding to undermine new media houses like TNA and community media.

The newspaper further alleged that the party was against transformation in the media industry.

The DA had complained that the publication failed to contact them for a response to these allegations, arguing that the story was a smear campaign against Zille.

This was one of the three findings made by the ombudsman, in a case brought forward by the opposition leader relating to three published front page stories.

The story in question that contained the transformation allegations was written by journalists Siyabonga Mkhwanazi and Luyolo Mkentane.

The article headline “'Hypocrite' Zille lambasted by Cosatu, SACP' was published on 25 January.

The Ombudsman directed the newspaper to apologise for not asking for comment.

The newspaper was directed to publish Zille or the DA's comment relating to the collusion allegation, and undermining community media.

Read more on:    da  |  new age  |  press ombudsman  |  helen zille  |  cape town  |  media

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