DA wants answers on reported new SABC talk show rules

2016-02-28 11:59
(SABC website)

(SABC website)

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Cape Town - The Democratic Alliance wants an investigation into the SABC's reported ban on listener call-ins to radio talk shows in the run up to the elections.

The Sunday Times and City Press reported that SABC staff were told they had to close their open lines in case people use them for electioneering.

DA Communications spokesperson Phumzile van Damme said the party believed this was in violation of the public broadcaster's editorial policy, its obligations under the Broadcasting Act, and a violation of its licence conditions.

"Banning call-ins limits the amount of varied opinions broadcast on SABC radio stations and news programmes, and will result in the opinions of radio presenters, government and politicians being the only ones given airtime.

"All South Africans have a stake at the SABC, and should be given reasonable opportunity to voice their opinions on matters of their interest," Van Damme said.

The party would ask the Independent Communications Authority of SA (Icasa) to investigate whether the SABC had violated its code of conduct for broadcasting service licencees.

SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago was not immediately available to comment to News24 on Sunday, but in City Press he said Metro FM had not closed open lines for any current affairs programme.

However, it wanted political issues to be dealt with by journalists who were "able to handle that".

The SABC believed presenters were not best equipped to deal with those issues. Presenters on current affairs should determine their topic, and not accept calls outside that topic.

On current affairs shows people should avoid an open line because that is when politics sneaked in, he said. 

Read more on:    da  |  sabc

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