ATTENTION: ALL JOURNALISTS AND NEWS EDITORS
NAC MEDIA STATEMENT
On 17 August 2022, the Press Ombudsman delivered a ruling in favour of the NAC following a complaint lodged by the NAC against the Citizen newspaper in respect to two articles penned by journalist Gertrude Makafola and published on 20 May 2022 (online) and 23 May 2022 (print) respectively. Amongst other complaints, it was the NAC’s view that the offending publications were inaccurate, misleading, sensationalist, unbalanced and lacking in factual substantiation.
The Press Ombudsman found that the Citizen’s publications breached clauses 1.1 (which requires accurate, truthful, and fair reporting); 1.8 (which requires that pre- publication comment is sought) and 10 (which requires that headlines should not mislead readers) of the Press Code. All the infringements were deemed to be Tier 2 (serious) infringements.
The NAC Chairperson, Princess Celenhle Dlamini has welcomed this ruling by stating that:
“The NAC is aware that there has been a trend of late towards publishing false and misleading material regarding the NAC and its activities. Whilst the NAC, as a public entity is not immune to criticism, it will continue to challenge publications containing inaccurate, misleading and sensationalist material and what it views as distorted and irresponsible journalism”.
The Citizen newspaper has been directed to publish an apology to the NAC for the breaches as described, and to rectify the headline and content of the online publication.
Issued by the National Arts Council of South Africa