Press must report news truthfully, accurately and fairly
The Acting National Commissioner of the Department of Correctional Services (DCS), Mr. Zachariya Modise, has welcomed a ruling by the Press Ombudsman against Sunday World, following a front-page article, on 10 May 2015, headlined Jub Jub bust for drugs in jail – Muso faces disciplinary hearing in prison.
The ruling states that Sunday World is in breach of the following sections of the Press Code:
2.1: “The press shall take care to report news… fairly”
2.4 “Where there is reason to doubt the accuracy of a report and it is practicable to verify the accuracy thereof, it shall be verified. Where it has not been practicable to verify the accuracy of a report, this shall be stated in such report”.
“As DCS, we welcome this ruling by the Press Ombudsman, particularly in light of the fact that, in recent months, DCS has been subjected to a number of inaccurate news reports. We are, once again, appealing to the press to take care to report news truthfully, accurately and fairly. We are also calling upon media practitioners to refrain from any unethical means of accessing information, including stealing of information, bribery or any action that may constitute a criminal offence. DCS has appointed spokespersons who are authorised to speak to the media. Any official who is not authorised to speak on behalf of the department will face disciplinary measures. DCS is aware that there are officials providing misleading information to the media. Internal investigations are underway, and any official found to have participated in providing such information will face disciplinary action. The Department continues to emphasize the need for officials to familiarise themselves with internal processes and procedures, as well as acceptable behaviour and conduct for all government employees as stated in the Public Service Act and the Public Service Charter,” said Mr. Modise.
Source : South African Government