The New Age newspaper and news channel ANN7 will appoint a public editor to deal with complaints, following the newspaper’s withdrawal from the Press Council’s ombudsman process, the newspaper reported on Monday.
“There has been growing unhappiness on our side about the ombudsman, hence the decision to appoint an independent person to be known as a public editor to attend to complaints from our readers,” The New Age CEO Nazeem Howa reportedly said.
“The appointment will be made in the next two months. In the meantime we have appointed an attorney to deal with readers and viewers complaints as they arise.”
Howa said The New Age had always felt like “outsiders”.
“It is our intention that an independent public editor will be able to steer our journalism to a higher level where it will be respected by the general public.”
On Wednesday Democratic Alliance communications spokesman Gavin Davis said the publication’s pulling out of the system meant it was no longer possible to hold the newspaper accountable for the fairness and accuracy of its reporting.
He said the timing of the withdrawal was “interesting” as it followed a complaint by the party to the ombudsman over a front page article reportedly defending government advertising spending on the newspaper.
Howa told Sapa on Wednesday the DA could forward its complaint to the newspaper. The advertisement for the position is in Monday’s edition of the newspaper. SAPA