Awareness of media ethics in the South African press is growing, the Press Council of South Africa heard at its quarterly meeting this month. Executive Director Latiefa Mobara was reporting on work for the Council in the first four months of 2018 by herself, Press Ombud Johan Retief, Public Advocate Joe Latakgomo and Chair of Appeals, Judge Bernard Ngoepe.
“The office received 175 complaints during the period,” Mobara said. “Most were able to be resolved by mediation facilitated by Joe Latakgomo, the Public Advocate. He had received 100% compliance from editors enabling speedy, amicable resolution of most complaints.
“Only 23 were referred to Press Ombud, Johan Retief and there were five appeals of Ombud rulings.”
Retief said of the 23 complaints he had dismissed 10, partly or fully upheld another 10, mediated a solution to
one, and dismissed two for being out of time. He said he found for the complainant in about 50% of cases. He noted that newsrooms were seeking guidance on the Press Code more than ever and that editors’ co-operation with the system of self-regulation was “excellent”.
How to make a complaint about editorial content
Go to the Press Council website www.presscouncil.org.za and in the menu bar choose ‘Complaints Form’. Fill it in online, attaching relevant documents or links. Or phone the Press Council offices at 011 484 3612.