The New Age pulls out of ombudsman system

The New Age newspaper has pulled out of the Press Council’s ombudsman system, the council said on Wednesday.

“The New Age was one of the publications that have been using our system without being members of Print and Digital Media South Africa (PDMSA), so they are not members [of the council] and therefore are not automatically members of PDMSA,” director Joe Thloloe said.

“What happened in their case is our rules say if we get a complaint against a publication that is not a member of any of our processes, then we should write to the editor of that publication and ask if they want the complaint handled by the Press Council.”

If so, that makes the publication automatically members of the Press Council, and not PDMSA.

“Now, when we got the complaint about The New Age from the DA [Democratic Alliance], The New Age was quite reluctant to respond to the complaint and when we contacted them, they sent a note stating they are pulling out of the system,” he said.


“Almost all publications in the council are subscribed to our system.”

Unaccountable
Earlier on Monday, DA communications spokesperson Gavin Davis said the publication pulling out of the system meant it was no longer possible to hold the newspaper accountable for the fairness and accuracy of its reporting.

“The timing of The New Age’s withdrawal is interesting. It follows a DA complaint to the Ombudsman on 3 February regarding a front-page article in The New Age that defended government’s disproportionate advertising expenditure on The New Age,” he said.

“After missing a series of deadlines to respond to the DA’s complaint, the [chief executive] of The New Age, Nazeem Howa, wrote to the ombudsman on 25 February to ‘confirm the withdrawal of The New Age from the press ombudsman processes’.”

Davis said the article breached the press code, with it likely that the DA’s complaint would have been upheld.

“So it appears that, to avoid the embarrassment of apologising and retracting the story, The New Age decided to withdraw from the ombudsman process altogether,” he said.

The New Age had not responded to a request for comment on Wednesday afternoon. – Sapa

Subscribe to the M&G

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Sapa
Guest Author

Related stories

The Qwelane case: When human rights meet human rights

The Jon Qwelane case brings into focus the tension between hate speech and freedom of expression

New Age journalists were monitored by Atul Gupta — former ANN7 editor

Rajesh Sundaram alleges that Atul Gupta had access to intelligence relating to the movements of journalists working for the Gupta media empire

Manyi fails to flip the script

The former GCIS head bungled his chance at unmasking white monopoly capture

Manyi claims he is being treated like a hostile witness

The former GCIS head has asked for a member of the Zondo commission’s legal team to recuse himself

Downfall of The New Age a sign of white collar state capture says Manyi

According to former GCIS head Mzwanele Manyi, the New Age newspaper was a casualty of white-collar corporate capture of the state

#StateCaptureInquiry: Manyi’s back

Former head of GCIS Mzwanele Manyi will testify before the Zondo commission on Monday
Advertising

Subscribers only

FNB dragged into bribery claims

Allegations of bribery against the bank’s chief executive, Jacques Celliers, thrown up in a separate court case

Dozens of birds and bats perish in extreme heat in...

In a single day, temperatures in northern KwaZulu-Natal climbed to a lethal 45°C, causing a mass die-off of birds and bats

More top stories

North West premier goes off the rails

Supra Mahumapelo ally Job Mokgoro’s defiance of party orders exposes further rifts in the ANC

Construction sites are a ‘death trap’

Four children died at Pretoria sites in just two weeks, but companies deny they’re to blame

Why the Big Fish escape the justice net

The small fish get caught. Jails are used to control the poor and disorderly and deflect attention from the crimes of the rich and powerful.

Koko claims bias before Zondo commission

In a lawyer’s letter, the former Eskom chief executive says the commission is not being fair to him
Advertising

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…