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APPENDIX 1:SOUTH AFRICAN PRESS CODEPreambleThe press exists to serve society. Its freedomprovides for independent scrutiny of the forcesthat shape society, and is essential to realisingthe promise of democracy. It enables citizens tomake informed judgments on the issues of theday, a role whose centrality is recognised in theSouth African Constitution.Section 16 of the Bill of Rights sets out that:1. “Everyone has the right to freedom ofexpression, which includes:a) Freedom of the press and other media;b) Freedom to receive and impart informationor ideas;c) Freedom of artistic creativity; andd) Academic freedom and freedom of scientificresearch.2. “The right in subsection (1) does not extendtoa) Propaganda for war;b) Incitement of imminent violence; orc) Advocacy of hatred that is based onrace, ethnicity, gender or religion, andthat constitutes incitement to causeharm.”The press strives to hold these rights in trust forthe country’s citizens; and it is subject to thesame rights and duties as the individual. Everyonehas the duty to defend and further theserights, in recognition of the struggles that createdthem: the media, the public and government,who all make up the democratic state.Our work is guided at all times by the publicinterest, understood to describe information oflegitimate interest or importance to citizens.As journalists, we commit ourselves to the higheststandards of excellence, to maintain credibilityand keep the trust of our readers. This meansalways striving for truth, avoiding unnecessaryharm, reflecting a multiplicity of voices in ourcoverage of events, showing a special concernfor children and other vulnerable groups, andacting independently.We adopt the following Press Code:1. Gathering of news1.1. News should be obtained legally, honestlyand fairly, unless public interestdictates otherwise.1.2. Press representatives shall identifythemselves as such, unless public interestor their safety dictates otherwise.2. Reporting of News2.1. The press shall take care to report newstruthfully, accurately and fairly.2.2. News shall be presented in context andin a balanced manner, without any intentionalor negligent departure fromthe facts whether by distortion, exaggerationor misrepresentation, materialomissions, or summarisation.2.3. Only what may reasonably be true, havingregard to the sources of the news,may be presented as fact, and suchfacts shall be published fairly withdue regard to context and importance.Where a report is not based on facts oris founded on opinion, allegation, rumouror supposition, it shall be presented insuch manner as to indicate this clearly.00157


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PreambleThe press exists to serve society. Its freedomprovides for independent scrutiny of the forcesthat shape society, and is essential to realisingthe promise of democracy. It enables citizens tomake informed judgments on the issues of theday, a role whose centrality is recognised in theSouth African Constitution.Section 16 of the Bill of Rights sets out that:1. “Everyone has the right to freedom ofexpression, which includes:a) Freedom of the press and other media;b) Freedom to receive and impart informationor ideas;c) Freedom of artistic creativity; andd) Academic freedom and freedom of scientificresearch.2. “The right in subsection (1) does not extendtoa) Propaganda for war;b) Incitement of imminent violence; orc) Advocacy of hatred that is based onrace, ethnicity, gender or religion, andthat constitutes incitement to causeharm.”The press strives to hold these rights in trust forthe country’s citizens; and it is subject to thesame rights and duties as the individual. Everyonehas the duty to defend and further theserights, in recognition of the struggles that createdthem: the media, the public and government,who all make up the democratic state.Our work is guided at all times by the publicinterest, understood to describe information oflegitimate interest or importance to citizens.As journalists, we commit ourselves to the higheststandards of excellence, to maintain credibilityand keep the trust of our readers. This meansalways striving for truth, avoiding unnecessaryharm, reflecting a multiplicity of voices in ourcoverage of events, showing a special concernfor children and other vulnerable groups, andacting independently.We adopt the following Press Code:1. Gathering of news1.1. News should be obtained legally, honestlyand fairly, unless public interestdictates otherwise.1.2. Press representatives shall identifythemselves as such, unless public interestor their safety dictates otherwise.2. Reporting of News2.1. The press shall take care to report newstruthfully, accurately and fairly.2.2. News shall be presented in contextand in a balanced manner, withoutany intentional or negligent departurefrom the facts whether by distortion,exaggeration or misrepresentation,material omissions, or summarisation.2.3. Only what may reasonably be true,having regard to the sources of thenews, may be presented as fact, andsuch facts shall be published fairlywith due regard to context and importance.Where a report is not based onfacts or is founded on opinion, allegation,rumour or supposition, it shall bepresented in such manner as to indicatethis clearly.00159


001602.4. Where there is reason to doubt the accuracyof a report and it is practicableto verify the accuracy thereof, it shall beverified. Where it has not been practicableto verify the accuracy of a report, thisshall be stated in such report.2.5. A publication shall seek the views of thesubject of critical reportage in advanceof publication; provided that this neednot be done where the publication hasreasonable grounds for believing thatby doing so it would be prevented frompublishing the report or where evidencemight be destroyed or sources intimidated.Reasonable time should be affordedthe subject for a response. If the publicationis unable to obtain such comment,this shall be stated in the report.2.6. A publication shall make amends for publishinginformation or comment that isfound to be inaccurate by printing, promptlyand with appropriate prominence, a retraction,correction or explanation.2.7. Reports, photographs or sketches relatingto indecency or obscenity shall be presentedwith due sensitivity to the prevailingmoral climate. A visual presentation ofexplicit sex shall not be published, unlesspublic interest dictates otherwise.2.8. Journalists shall not plagiarise.3. Independence and conflicts of interest3.1 The press shall not allow commercial,political, personal or other non- professionalconsiderations to influence orslant reporting. Conflicts of interest mustbe avoided,as well as arrangements orpractices that could lead audiences todoubt the press’s independence andprofessionalism.3.2 Journalists shall not accept a bribe, giftor any other benefit where this is intendedor likely to influence coverage.3.3 The press shall indicate clearly when anoutside organisation has contributed tothe cost of newsgathering.3.4 Editorial material shall be kept clearlydistinct from advertising.4. Dignity, Reputation and Privacy4.1. The press shall exercise care and considerationin matters involving the privatelives and concerns of individuals.The right to privacy may be overriddenby a legitimate public interest.4.2. The press shall exercise care and considerationin matters involving dignityand reputation. The dignity or reputationof an individual should only be overriddenin the following circumstances:4.2.1. The facts reported are true or substantiallytrue;4.2.2. The article amounts to fair commentbased on facts that are adequately referredto and that are true or substantiallytrue;4.2.3. The report amounts to a fair and accuratereport of court proceedings, Parliamentaryproceedings or the proceedingsof any quasi-judicial tribunal or forum; or4.2.4. It was reasonable for the article to bepublished because it was prepared inaccordance with acceptable principlesof journalistic conduct and in the publicinterest.4.3. The identity of rape victims and victimsof sexual violence shall not be publishedwithout the consent of the victim or inthe case of children, without the consentof their legal guardians and it is in thebest interest of the child.


4.4. The HIV/AIDS status of people should notbe disclosed without their consent, or inthe case of children, without the consentof their legal guardians, and only if it isin the public interest and it is in the bestinterest of the child.5. Discrimination and Hate Speech5.1. Except where it is strictly relevant to thematter reported and it is in the publicinterest to do so, the press shall avoiddiscriminatory or denigratory referencesto people’s race, gender, sex, pregnancy,marital status, ethnic or social origin,colour, sexual orientation, age, disability,religion, conscience, belief, culture, languageand birth or other status, nor shallit refer to people’s status in a prejudicialor pejorative context.5.2. The press has the right and indeed theduty to report and comment on all mattersof legitimate public interest. Thisright and duty must, however, be balancedagainst the obligation not to publishmaterial that amounts to:5.2.1. Propaganda for war;5.2.2. Incitement of imminent violence; or5.2.3. Advocacy of hatred that is based on race,ethnicity, gender or religion, and that constitutesincitement to cause harm.6. AdvocacyA publication is justified in strongly advocatingits own views on controversialtopics provided that it treats its readersfairly by:6.1. Making fact and opinion clearly distinguishable;6.2. Not misrepresenting or suppressing relevantfacts; and6.3. Not distorting the facts.7. Comment7.1. The press shall be entitled to commentupon or criticise any actions or events ofpublic interest provided such commentsor criticisms are fairly and honestlymade.7.2. Comment by the press shall be presentedin such manner that it appears clearlythat it is comment, and shall be made onfacts truly stated or fairly indicated andreferred to.7.3. Comment by the press shall be an honestexpression of opinion, without maliceor dishonest motives, and shall takefair account of all available facts whichare material to the matter commentedupon.8. ChildrenThe Bill of Rights (Section 28.2) in theSouth African Constitution states: “Achild’s best interests are of paramountimportance in every matter concerningthe child.”8.1. The press shall therefore exercise exceptionalcare and consideration whenreporting about children under the ageof 18. If there is any chance that coveragemight cause harm of any kind to achild, he or she shall not be interviewed,photographed or identified unless a custodialparent or similarly responsibleadult consents, or a public interest isevident.8.2. Child pornography shall not be published.00161


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This Code will replace the Code as agreed toby the BCCSA in 2003 and will come into effecton 1 January 20111. DefinitionsIn this Code, unless the context indicates otherwise,a word or expression to which a meaninghas been assigned in the Act has the meaningso assigned.“Act” means the Electronic CommunicationsAct, Act no 36 of 2005;“audience” refers to both the viewers and listenersof television and sound Broadcasting servicelicensees“broadcasting service licensee” means afree-to-air South African broadcasting servicelicensee as defined in section 1 of the Act andwhich: has agreed to the jurisdiction of theBroadcasting Complaints Commission of SouthAfrica (BCCSA) as constituted in 1993 by theNational Association of Broadcasters and whichwas formally approved by the IndependentBroadcasting Authority of South Africa (ICASA) in1995; and has thereby also agreed to the Constitution,Free-to-air Broadcasting Code and ProceduralRules of the BCCSA;“child pornography” means any descriptionor visual image, real or simulated, however created,explicitly depicting a person who is or whois depicted as being under the age of 18 years(a) engaged in or participating in sexual conduct;(b) engaged in an explicit display of genitals; or(c) assisting another person to engage insexual conduct which, judged withincontext, has as its predominant objectivepurpose, the stimulation of sexualarousal in its target audience;“child” means a person under the age of 18years;“ICASA Act” means the Independent CommunicationsAuthority of South Africa Act 13 of 2000;“sexual conduct” means: (i) the display of genitalsor of the anus; (ii) masturbation; (iii) sexualintercourse including anal sexual intercourse, (iv)in the case of child pornography, the fondling ortouching of breasts, genitalia or the anus; (v) thepenetration of a vagina or anus with any object;(vi) oral genital contact; or (vii) oral anal contact;“watershed period” means the period between21h00 and 05h00 for free-to-air televisionBroadcasting service licensees and 20h00 and05h00 for subscription television Broadcastingservice licensees.2. Scope of Application(1) Broadcasting service licensees mustensure that all broadcasts comply withthis Code.(2) Broadcasting service licensees mustensure that relevant employees andprogramme producers, including thosefrom whom they commission programmes,understand the contents andsignificance of this Code.(3) All broadcasting service licenseesshould also have procedures for ensuringthat programme producers can seekguidance as to the application of theCode from them.3. ViolenceBroadcasting service licensees must not broadcastmaterial which, judged within context(a) contains violence which does not play anintegral role in developing the plot, characteror theme of the material as a whole; or00165


00166(b) sanctions, promotes or glamorises violenceor unlawful conduct.4. (1) Broadcasting service licensees must notbroadcast material which, judged withincontext, sanctions, promotes or glamorisesviolence or unlawful conduct basedon race, national or ethnic origin, colour,religion, gender, sexual orientation, age,or mental or physical disability.(2) Broadcasting service licensees must notbroadcast material which, judged withincontext, amounts to (a) propaganda forwar; (b) incitement of imminent violenceor (c) the advocacy of hatred thatis based on race, ethnicity, religion orgender and that constitutes incitement tocause harm.5. ExclusionsClauses 3 and 4 do not apply to:(1) a broadcast which, judged within context,amounts to a bona fide scientific, documentary,dramatic, artistic or religiousbroadcast;(2) a broadcast which amounts to a discussion,argument or opinion on a matter pertainingto religion, belief or conscience; or(3) a broadcast which amounts to a bonafide discussion, argument or opinion ona matter of public interest.6. Children(1) Broadcasting service licensees must notbroadcast material which is harmful ordisturbing to children at times when alarge number of children are likely to bepart of the audience.(2) Broadcasting service licensees mustexercise particular caution, as providedbelow, in the depiction of violence in children’sprogramming.(3) In children’s programming portrayed byreal-life characters, violence may, whetherphysical, verbal or emotional, only beportrayed when it is essential to the developmentof a character and plot.(4) Animated programming for children,while accepted as a stylised form ofstory-telling which may contain nonrealisticviolence, must not have violenceas its central theme, and must not incitedangerous imitation.(5) Programming for children must with reasonablecare deal with themes that couldthreaten their sense of security whenportraying, for example, domestic conflict,death, crime or the use of drugs oralcohol.(6) Programming for children must withreasonable care deal with themes whichcould influence children to imitate actswhich they see on screen or hear about,such as the use of plastic bags as toys,the use of matches or the use of dangeroushousehold object as toys.(7) Programming for children must not containrealistic scenes of violence whichcreate the impression that violence is thepreferred or only method to resolve conflictbetween individuals.(8) Programming for children must not containrealistic scenes of violence whichminimise or gloss over the effect ofviolent acts. Any realistic depictions ofviolence must portray, in human terms,the consequences of that violence to itsvictims and its perpetrators.


(9) Programming for children must not containfrightening or otherwise excessivespecial effects not required by the storyline.(10) Offensive language, including profanityand other religiously insensitive material,must not be broadcast in programmesspecially designed for children.(11) No excessively or grossly offensivelanguage should be used before thewatershed period on television or attimes when a large number of childrenis likely to be part of the audience ontelevision or radio.7. Watershed Period(1) Programming on television which containsscenes of explicit violence and/or sexual conduct and/or nudity and/orgrossly offensive language intended foradult audiences must not be broadcastbefore the watershed period.(2) Promotional material and music videoswhich contain scenes of explicitviolence and/or explicit threatening violenceand/or sexual conduct and/or thefondling or touching of breasts and/orgenitalia or the anus and/or nudity and/or offensive language intended for adultaudiences must not be broadcast beforethe watershed period.(3) Some programmes broadcast outsidethe watershed period may notbe suitable for very young children.Licensees must provide sufficient information,in terms of regular schedulingpatterns or audience advisories,to assist parents and de facto or legalguardians to make appropriate viewingchoices.(4) Television broadcasting service licenseesmay, with the advance of the watershedperiod, progressively broadcastmore adult material.(5) Broadcasting service licensees must beparticularly sensitive to the likelihoodthat programmes which commenceduring the watershed period and whichrun beyond it may then be viewed bychildren.8. Sexual Conduct(1) Broadcasting service licensees must notbroadcast material which, judged withincontext, contains a scene or scenes,simulated or real, of any of the following:(a) child pornography;(b) bestiality;(c) sexual conduct which degrades a personin the sense that it advocates a particularform of hatred based on genderand which constitutes incitement tocause harm;(d) explicit sexual conduct;(e) explicit extreme violence or the expliciteffects thereof; or(f) explicit infliction of domestic violence.(2) Sub-clause 8(1) shall not be applicableto bona fide scientific, documentary,dramatic or artistic material which,judged within context, is of such a nature;provided that it is broadcast withdue audience advisory after the watershedon a sliding scale according to itscontent.9. Audience Advisories(1) To assist audience in choosing programmes,television broadcasting00167


00168service licensees must provide advisoryassistance which, when applicable,must include guidelines as toage, where such broadcasts containviolence, sex, nudity an/or offensivelanguage. The advisory must be visibleon the screen for a minimum of 90seconds at the commencement of theprogramme and for a minimum of 30seconds after each advertisement orother break. Where the frequency ofthe said subject matters, or any oneor some of them, is high, a continuousadvisory will be necessary, whether itis broadcast before or after the watershed.(2) The following visual advisory agesystem must be used: 10, 13, 16 and18. The following symbols must beused in accordance with the relevantcontent: V(violence), L(language),N(nudity), S(sex), PG(Parental Guidance).(3) An audio advisory before the commencementof the programme mustalso accompany the broadcast of a filmwith an age restriction of 18.10. Classification by Films andPublications Board(1) Where a Films and Publications Boardclassification for a film exists in termsof the Films and Publication Act No.65 of 1996, such classification maybe used as a guideline for an advisoryto the broadcast of the film.(2) No film which carries an XX classificationin terms of the Films and PublicationsAct may be broadcast.11. News(1) Broadcasting service Licensees mustreport news truthfully, accurately andfairly.(2) News must be presented in the correctcontext and in a fair manner, without intentionalor negligent departure from thefacts, whether by:(a) Distortion, exaggeration or misrepresentation.(b) Material omissions; or(c) Summarisation(3) Only that which may reasonably be true,having reasonable regard to the sourceof the news, may be presented as fact,and such fact must be broadcast fairlywith reasonable regard to context andimportance.(4) Where a report is not based on fact oris founded on opinion, supposition, rumoursor allegations, it must be presentedin such manner as to indicate,clearly that such is the case.(5) Where there is reason to doubt the correctnessof the report and it is practicableto verify the correctness thereof,it must be verified. Where such verificationis not practicable, that fact must bementioned in the report.(6) Where it subsequently appears that abroadcast was incorrect in a materialaspect, it must be rectified forthwith,without reservation or delay. The rectificationmust be presented with sucha degree of prominence and timing asin the circumstances may be adequateand fair so as to readily attract attention.(7) The identity of rape victims and othervictims of sexual violence must not bedivulged in any broadcast, whether as


part of news or not, without the priorvalid consent of the victim concerned.(8) Broadcasting service licensees mustadvise viewers in advance of scenes orreporting of extraordinary violence, orgraphic reporting on delicate subjectmattersuch as sexual assault or courtaction related to sexual crimes, particularlyduring afternoon or early eveningnewscasts and updates.(9) Broadcasting service licensees must notinclude explicit or graphic language relatedto news of destruction, accidentsor sexual violence which could disturbchildren or sensitive audiences, exceptwhere it is in the public interest to includesuch material.12. Comment(1) Broadcasting service licensees are entitledto broadcast comment on and criticismof any actions or events of publicimportance.(2) Comment must be an honest expressionof opinion and must be presentedin such manner that it appears clearlyto be comment, and must be made onfacts truly stated or fairly indicated andreferred to.(3) Where a person has stated that he orshe is not available for comment orsuch a +person could not reasonably bereached, it must be stated in the programme.13. Controversial Issues of Public Importance(1) In presenting a programme in which acontroversial issue of public importanceis discussed, a broadcaster must makereasonable efforts to fairly present opposingpoints of view either in thesame programme or in a subsequentprogramme forming part of the sameseries of programmes presented withinreasonable period of time of the originalbroadcast and within substantially thesame time slot.(2) A person whose views are to be criticisedin a broadcasting programme on acontroversial issue of public importancemust be given the right to reply to suchcriticism on the same programme. If thisis impracticable, reasonable opportunityto respond to the programme should beprovide where appropriate, for examplesin a right to reply programme or ina pre-arranged discussion programmewith the prior consent of the personconcerned.14. ElectionsDuring any election period, as defined in theAct, sections 56, 57, 58 and 59 of the Act andregulations issued in terms thereof apply. TheBCCSA does not have jurisdiction in thesematters and complaints must be directed tothe Complaints and Compliance Committee ofthe Independent Communications Authority ofSouth Africa.15. Privacy, Dignity and Reputation(1) Broadcasting service licensees mustexercise exceptional care and considerationin matters involving the privacy,dignity and reputation of individuals,bearing in mind that the said rights maybe overridden by a legitimate public interest.00169


(2) In the protection of privacy, dignity andreputation special weight must be affordedto South African cultural customsconcerning the privacy and dignity ofpeople who are bereaved and their respectfor those who have passed away.(3) In the protection of privacy, dignity andreputation special weight must be affordedto the privacy, dignity and reputationof children, the aged and the physicallyand mentally disabled.16. Competitions and Audience Participation(1) Where audiences are invited on air toreact to a programme or competitionbroadcasting service licensees mustmake known the full cost of a telephonecall or a SMS.(2) Broadcasting service licensees mustspecify the proportion of the cost of thecall or SMS, as the case may be, whichis intended for any specified charitablecause.(3) Broadcasting service licensees mustensure that audiences who are invitedto compete in any competition are madeaware on air of the rules of the competition.Such rules must include the closingdate and the manner in which the winneris to be determined.http://bccsa.co.za/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=547&Itemid=3500170

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