Icasa declares SABC editorial policies invalid
The Independent Communications Authority of South Africa (ICASA) has declared the SABC’s editorial policies invalid.
The SOS Support Broadcasting Coalition and Media Monitoring Africa‚ represented by the Legal Resources Centre‚ challenged the amendments to the SABC’s editorial policies on the basis that the SABC had failed to publish the proposed amendments to its editorial policies for public comment before accepting the amendments on 25 January 2016.
The parties argued that the failure to publish the proposed amendments was in breach of section 6(6) of the Broadcasting Act of 1999.
Icasa’s Complaints and Compliance Committee (CCC) noted that the amendment to the editorial policies contained a number of significant revisions that were of concern to the complainants‚ including that –
-It altered the substance of the upward referral policy‚ by which the CEO would be replaced by the COO to resolve disputes;
-It removed the prohibition on hidden cameras and sensational reporting in the coverage of crime;
-It removed the obligations to exercise care when interviewing people without broadcast experience;
-It removed the obligation on staff to consult the office of the Chief Legal Advisor;
-It removed guidance on privacy issues.