The Press Freedom Commission's recommendation that the print media no longer regulate itself is a step in the right direction, the Freedom Front Plus said on Thursday.
“This proposal replaces the necessity for government to intervene directly through a media tribunal, but the one-sided self-regulation of the media is no longer tolerated either,” party spokesman Anton Alberts said in a statement.
On Wednesday, the commission released recommendations following three public hearings and 230 submissions on what would be the best way to regulate the print media.
Alberts said the recommendations created a more balanced approach “because the right of the media to self-regulate is balanced by the right of the public to have a say in the oversight of the media”.
“Larger public participation in the process to address issues when the media acts wrongly or unethically will ensure that individuals' rights are protected better.
“The independent shared oversight of the printed media is a huge step in the right direction which, should the printed media accept the proposals, will ensure that more balanced and objective reporting will take place.”
The PFC held the hearings after complaints of shoddy journalism and a perception that complaints about this were not being taken seriously enough by publications, or the Press Ombudsman. It also came in the wake of the ANC saying it was going to start talking about whether it was necessary to establish a Media Appeal Tribunal. - Sapa