Uproar over journalist’s ‘doek’ as eNCA denies it was why her story was pulled

accreditation
Picture: just_nontobeko/Instagram
Picture: just_nontobeko/Instagram

There has been an outcry on social media after a broadcast journalist alleged that a story was canned because she was filmed wearing a headscarf. 

Nontobeko Sibisi, who is an arts and entertainment reporter for eNCA, directed damning accusations towards its management after she wore a headscarf, or doek, in the video on Africa Day. 

In a candid email sent to her colleagues, Sibisi expressed her disappointment at the “unjustifiable injustice” and the manner in which her story was taken off-air. 

She referred to the video as: “A story on an African cross-border music collaboration of four musicians from Nigeria, Zimbabwe and South Africa. Their music is a rare sound merging traditional instruments and modern-day electric sounds.” 

Sibisi, who was not speaking to the media, called the segment “the perfect African story of African collaborations during Africa Month shot during Africa Day”. 

“Now because for nine seconds of an about three-minute piece I appear wearing a doek, the story was taken off air without my knowledge. I was not spoken too, disciplined, reprimanded or emailed regarding this grave action. I was informed of this decision by a subeditor in passing.” 

In the leaked email, various colleagues responded to Sibisi stating their support for her and the need to address the severity of such an act. 

In an interview with News24, Anton Harber, editor-in-chief for eNCA said that there were no issues with Sibisi wearing a doek and that the segment had been aired. 

“It ran repeatedly and there was absolutely no issue with the reporter wearing headgear on Africa Day,” Harber said. 

According to Harber, the member of staff who had pulled the story was out of the country and he was unable to seek clarity on the reasoning behind the decision to pull Sibisi’s story from air. 

There has been a greater narrative derived from this, resulting in the need for newsrooms to diversify and acknowledge cultural dress forms without victimising their journalists. 

Tweeted by Sibisi this morning, she said: “I’ve listened + read many of your comments on #Doek including our Editor in Chief A.Harber - some discussions + changes are brewing.” 

Zizi Kodwa, spokesperson for the ANC, expressed his concerns on Twitter: 


Other users also had their say: 



We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24

E-Editions

Read the digital editions of City Press here.
Read now
Voting Booth
A new report by the Electoral Integrity Project, which looks at the quality of electoral integrity worldwide, has identified South Africa as having the second-highest level of integrity in its elections in Africa. Do you agree with the report?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
No
45% - 65 votes
Yes
27% - 39 votes
We should be first
28% - 41 votes
Vote