The South African Editors Forum (Sanef) has welcomed the report released by the Enquiry into Media Ethics and Credibility on the ethical challenges facing the industry in South Africa.
The Commission, led by retired Judge, Kathleen Satchwell and commissioned by Sanef was prompted by The Sunday Times’ apologies in 2019 for its Rogue Unit, Cato Manor and Zimbabwe Rendition stories.
The report made a total of 69 recommendations.
Some of the submissions received were over the media’s lack of use of African languages and editorial interference.
Sanef Chairperson, Sbu Ngalwa says, “As the South African Editors Forum, we welcome the report as is so it will form part of our plan of action for the year ahead. The reason why we felt this enquiry to be important is that we understood the danger that is faced as the media in South Africa.”
Panelist, Nikiwe Bikitsha, who is a communications strategist, highlighted some of the recommendations.
She says, “We recommend that Sanef should collaborate with other media entities, other media houses as well as media practitioners and those within human rights organisations to consciously and consistently publicise the importance of an independent and diverse and vital media industry and resist any discourse that undermines the status independence of the media.”
“We call on Sanef to promote the knowledge of and training in and use of all South African languages by media practitioners on all platforms. We further say that Sanef should reopen the consideration of sanctions or fines or suspension from media organisations for journalists who commit ethical breaches.”
— SANEF (@SAEditorsForum) January 18, 2021
In 2018, Sunday Times apologised following a series of planted stories implicating top SARS and Hawks officials.
Two reporters have since been shown the door and all rewards and prizes they received on those particular stories, are being returned.
IPID head Robert McBride was criminally charged for his report into the illegal rendition of Zimbabwe, which the paper now admits was a false story altogether.
McBride was also accused of trying to protect then former National and Gauteng Hawks heads Anwa Dramat and Shadrack Sibiya.
FILE VIDEO: In the video below, McBride was interviewed in 2018, where he said he will be instituting civil litigation against a number of people involved persecuting him: