Editors take PSL to task over competition
THE South African National Editors Forum is appalled by attempts by the Premier Soccer League to turn football journalists into professional gamblers through a competition launched last week.
This has resulted in Sanef seeking a meeting with the PSL to voice its concerns about this competition and its potentially corrosive impact on journalism and journalist ethics.
The competition, announced by PSL chairman Irvin Khoza on Friday, seeks to reward journalists who correctly predict the outcomes of football games and the league with prize money of up to R500,000.
In announcing the competition, Khoza stated that "the PSL has extensively consulted and enquired if this competition involving journalists that cover its space raises any ethical issues". He said this consultation process had concluded that "just like journalism awards recognise and reward journalists without compromising the integrity of the profession, this competition does not compromise the ethics and integrity of the journalists covering the Absa Premiership".
But Sanef has placed on record that it was not party to this "extensive" consultation process, nor was it aware of other credible industry bodies that were consulted about the competition.
"Had Sanef been consulted, we would have made it clear to the PSL that the competition undermines the ethics of our profession," said Sanef in a statement.
"It (the competition) seeks to turn journalists who use their skills to report and analyse football into gamblers. Genuine journalism awards reward excellence and hard work.
Accordingly, this type of competition would amount to a breach of the section 3 of the Press Code dealing with the independence and conflicts of interest, particularly 3.1 and 3.2. "(Section) 3.1 says the press shall not allow commercial, political, personal or other non-professional considerations to influence or slant reporting ..."