Media representatives debating a Press Freedom Commission's report say changes to the way the media is regulated will have little practical effect.
Recommendations for reforming the press council have included a greater representation of citizens on the panels.
Informed by a fuzzy opinion that self-regulation has failed, it exposes the industry to manipulation
There is a great deal of important detail still to be finalised, but we should now put the idea of a statutory press commissariat behind us.
The ANC has welcomed the Press Freedom Commission's findings into the press regulatory system, saying it is "legitimate regulation of the media".
The Press Freedom Commission has called for more public participation and a hierarchy of penalties, but rejected the idea of a media tribunal.
Joe Thloloe, South Africa's press ombudsman, has been honoured with the Order of Ikhamanga (silver) during one of media's most difficult times.
A new regulatory regime is imminent for SA's newspaper industry wherein an independent regulator will have the power to impose fines on newspapers.
NEWS ANALYSIS: There is little clarity about the form a media appeals tribunal is likely to take.
The Press Council's Ombudsman has reported to editors a 70% increase over the last three years in the number of complaints about newspaper reports.
Black consciousness is mostly ignored by the media, but it doesn't support censorship.
Ruling party's participation in the hearings of the Press Freedom Commission comes as a surprise.
At the Press Freedom Commission hearings, Public Protector Thuli Madonsela called for the press ombud to be "beefed up" and given more autonomy.
Newspaper editors have warned the Press Freedom Commission that introducing a media appeals tribunal would be "the death knell of a free press".
The ANC still wants "independent regulation" for the media, arguing that self-regulatory efforts are undermined by vested interests.
The amended press code does not properly define or address plagiarism, editor Barney Mthombothi said at the Press Freedom Commission hearings.
But the trade union federation stops short of calling for a mandatory media tribunal.
The NUM says media houses have sufficient legislation to express themselves but a vacuum exists when it comes to holding newspapers to account.
Chaired by Pius Langa, the Press Freedom Commission is due to begin its first public hearings, in Cape Town, on the mooted regulation of print media.