Monday, August 5, 2019
After release of Commission of Inquiry's report into SABC editorial meddling the South African National Editor's Forum urges 'new custodians of the SABC newsroom to safeguard' it from future interference.
On Monday the Commission of Inquiry into editorial interference at South Africa's public broadcaster reported that it found that the "spectre of the ANC hovered over the newsroom", that ministerial interference into the newsroom of the SABC took place, and found 'bullying and trauma" and a "work environment crippled with fear, anxiety, resentment and tensions".
Mahlatse Mahlase, Sanef chairperson, noted in a statement on Monday the "chilling findings" from the Commission of Inquiry's report.
"We thus implore the new custodians of the SABC newsroom to safeguard the public broadcaster from any political, commercial or private interference in the future. Concrete mechanisms must be implemented to ensure this," Mahlase said.
Sanef also noted the various recommendations made in the report, including the creation of a news and current affairs advisory committee to advise journalists, editors and producers on editorial issues.
"We welcome the recommendation that this committee will become the highest point of upward referral for editorial line managers and that it should uphold the editorial policies and the highest editorial and ethical standards."
"We also believe that the suggested creation of a news and current affairs advisory committee is positive. We believe that the establishment of these committees will go a long way to maintaining editorial integrity at the public broadcaster and that they will ensure that journalists have a place to go when interference creeps in."
"We wish the SABC strength and every success as it takes steps to implement these recommendations. We need the SABC to deal decisively with its past editorial woes," said Mahlatse Mahlase.
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