Editors' forum 'disappointed' at Independent Media's Press Council exit

2016-10-22 14:37


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Cape Town – The South African National Editors’ Forum has expressed disappointment at the decision taken by Independent Media to withdraw from the activities of the Press Council of South Africa.

Independent Media, which owns numerous newspapers and online platforms including the Cape Times, The Star, The Mercury and IOL,  announced on Thursday that they were pulling out of the official regulatory system for independent media in South Africa.

Complaints against the group’s titles would now be adjudicated by an internal ombudsman, Jovial Rantao. He is a former editor of various titles in Independent Media.

Sanef said the reconstituted Press Council and Press Code was the result of years or research, consultation and negotiations between the country’s media houses and role players, through the Press Freedom Commission headed by the late Chief Justice Pius Langa.

Independent Media and its management were part and parcel of these discussions and decisions, Sanef said.

"Independent Media now blames 'loopholes' in the Press Code for its dramatic decision to cut all ties with the Press Council. It is disappointing that Independent sought to make this radical decision unilaterally while discussions with the Press Council were still ongoing.

"We note that this decision means that all publications of the company, both print and digital, will now fall outside the exemptions of pre-publication approvals by the Film and Publications Board (FPB) enjoyed by members of the Press Council."

Sanef confirmed its commitment to the current system of independent co-regulation by the Press Council.

"We note reports by the Press Council on its rulings [which are mostly made in favour of complainants] and take very seriously the findings of the Press Ombudsman or appeals panel about mistakes made by journalists in the exercise of their duties."

The forum noted Independent Media's commitment to self-regulation and stated opposition to the introduction of a statutory Media Appeals Tribunal. 

"However, we believe that self-regulation should be executed at arm's length by an independent regulatory mechanism like the Press Council and not by employees of media companies. To use an internal ombudsman as a replacement of independent arbiters is unacceptable and we call on Independent media to rescind the decision."

Read more on:    independent media  |  sanef  |  cape town  |  media

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.