R500,000 for journalists! Is this right?

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There is a lot that is positive about the Premier Soccer League (PSL), but, somehow or other, it finds ways to shoot itself in the foot.

The latest crazy scheme is to involve the country’s football journalists in a prediction game, based on the results of PSL fixtures, and the winner stands to pocket a staggering R500,000.

In announcing the competition, the PSL’s chairman Irvin Khoza said: “We have decided to not limit the excitement to the teams alone. We want to challenge the media to make predictions based on their knowledge of the teams and conditions.”

In essence, the journalist has to predict a win, lose or draw for each PSL fixture of the weekend.

The names of the winners will be put into a draw. The winner will win R500,000 in the three categories of print, radio and television.

Khoza continued by saying: “The PSL has extensively consulted if this competition involving journalists raises any ethical issues.

“We are satisfied that just like journalism awards reward without compromising the integrity of the profession, this competition does not compromise the ethics of the journalist covering the PSL.

“This inclusive competition will instead enhance the job already performed by the journalist without any negative influence.

“The PSL executive has also provided for journalists, who are precluded from winning prize money by their employers, to nominate a charity of their choice to be a recipient beneficiary of their prize.”

Independent Newspapers Cape, publishers of the Cape Argus, the Cape Times and the Daily Voice, has made its official stance on the journalist competition clear.

Martine Barker, the Managing Editor of Independent Newspapers Cape, said: “Our company does not endorse any entity offering financial incentives for journalists to do the work they are paid to do.

“For this reason we would not be able to allow sports writers to participate in this offer in their personal capacities, although it would be acceptable for them to participate on behalf of a nominated, registered charity.

“Independent Newspapers Cape recognises that the PSL is seeking to increase interest in the season ahead, but is mindful of the principle that journalists should not participate for potential gain in any way in the stories they cover.

“Independent Newspapers Cape hopes that the PSL will revisit the offer and make it a competition where the prize will be available for a nominated charity only.” – The Argus

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