The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) applauds TimesLive for retracting an article on the funding of the SABC 8 – Retraction: Bosasa may have funded SABC8.
We welcome the Sunday Times and TimesLive for their decision to retract and apologise for a story suggesting that the corruption-implicated services company, Bosasa, had paid money into a crowdsourcing fund to support the SABC8 – a group of journalists at our public broadcaster who had been suspended without pay after speaking out against censorship of the coverage of protest action.
The false allegation carried in the story caused serious harm and embarrassment for both SANEF and the SABC 8 as it tainted our integrity.
SANEF has noted that the publication has adhered to the Press Code of Ethics and Conduct for South African Print and Online Media. Chapter 1, clauses 1.10 – 1.11 on MEDIA-GENERATED CONTENT AND ACTIVITIES states the following: “The media shall make amends for presenting inaccurate information or comment by publishing promptly and with appropriate prominence a retraction, correction, explanation or an apology.”
We acknowledge that while media houses must strive to avoid errors – when they do occur, it is imperative that they are corrected. We believe that rather than destroying public trust, corrections are a powerful tool to reinforce accountability and transparency. That is the paradox: we believe that admitting our mistakes and failings makes us more deserving of the public trust.
Note to Editors: The South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) is a non-profit organisation whose members are editors, senior journalists and journalism trainers from all areas of the South African media. We are committed to championing South Africa’s hard-won freedom of expression and promoting quality, ethics and diversity in the South African media. We promote excellence in journalism through fighting for media freedom, writing policy submissions, research and education and training programmes. SANEF is not a union.
For more information please contact:
Mahlatse Mahlase – SANEF Chairperson, (083) 399-2852
Katy Katopodis – SANEF Deputy Chairperson, (082) 805-7022
Moipone Malefane – SANEF Secretary-General (082) 772-5861
Mary Papayya – SANEF Media Freedom Chair (082) 379-4957
Sbu Ngalwa – SANEF Eastern Cape Convenor (073) 404-1415
Janet Heard – SANEF Western Cape Convenor (078) 041-9528
Hopewell Radebe – SANEF Gauteng Regional Convenor (083) 582-1734
Judy Sandison – SANEF KZN Convenor (082) 571-3334
Kate Skinner – SANEF Executive Director – (082) 926-6404