Sunday Times statement on the release of the Independent Panel Report on Media Ethics and Credibility

18 January 2021 - 13:47 By S'thembiso Msomi
S'thembiso Msomi, editor of the Sunday Times, says the publication is committed to truthful, independent and accountable journalism.
S'thembiso Msomi, editor of the Sunday Times, says the publication is committed to truthful, independent and accountable journalism.
Image: Masi Losi

The Sunday Times welcomes the conclusion of the Independent Panel’s inquiry and the publication of the report. We hope and believe that the report will go a long way in enhancing the practice of journalism and in encouraging adherence to media ethics by practitioners.

As a newspaper, we voluntarily participated in the process out of recognition of its potential to lay the basis for necessary and ongoing introspection by both the Sunday Times and the SA media in general.

It is important to note that many of the weaknesses and lapses in our systems pointed out in the panel’s report were already acknowledged and addressed during Bongani Siqoko’s tenure as editor.

The series of stories in question happened between 2011 and 2016.

The newspaper's new owners have affirmed a commitment to strengthening of the newsroom in support of quality journalism.

There has been a lot of effort put into improving our systems and to ensure that such mistakes do not happen in future.

Among the significant changes that have occurred was the acquisition of the Sunday Times and other publications in the group by new owners who have affirmed commitment to editorial independence as well as the strengthening of the newsroom in support of quality journalism.

We do recognise, however, that improving our systems with the goal of delivering quality journalism and ensuring that errors are minimised in our reporting is always a work in progress.

It is for this reason that we intend to study the report further in the coming days as we believe that it has some valuable suggestions for our newsroom going forward.

As a newspaper we remain committed to truthful, independent and accountable journalism and pledge to work closely with Sanef and other role players to help improve the craft.


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