Johnny Masilela l Views: 117
Being a journalist of the lowest or even highest order does not mean one is a know-all.
That is exactly the reason why when the ANC Waterberg regional conference was postponed for the fifth time, we took it upon ourselves to ask regional chairperson, Morris Mataboge, to unpack certain dimensions in this regard.
We learned from none other than Mataboge that in the event the regional conference could not take place before the ANC national elective conference in December, this would not necessarily affect the branches in terms of policy engagements and so forth.
Thank you very much Mr Mataboge for, as the old Struggle adage goes, “each one teach one”.
Having said that, those of us in the newspapers believe there is oh so much information we can enrich say, politicians, about our own unique operations.
And it is precisely because of this lack of proper information that in recent days we were confronted with all sorts of accusations by a mass-based political party.
We choose not to mention the name of this particular party until issues have been trashed out between this newspaper and the party concerned.
Now readers, be you in politics, sport or otherwise, when a reporter makes contact with you and openly declare he/she is from The BEAT newspaper, you have the obligation, legally or otherwise, to agree or disagree to speak to that particular newshound.
You cannot turn around and claim you were not aware whatever you said was meant for publication.
A word of advice: should a reporter at Daily Sun, Sowetan or City Press call you and introduces him/herself as such, then my friend, know you are speaking for the record.
The best thing to do, perhaps, is to ask the reporter to capture their questions in an email, but do respond as swiftly as possible.
If the newspaper fails to receive your response within a reasonable period of time, then your name would be attached to a paragraph which goes like: at the time of going to press she/he was not available for comment.
Indeed, each one teach one.
This lack of information-sharing has oftentimes led to unnecessary misunderstanding between The BEAT and various sources.
In such instances we as a newspaper try to engage and find a mutual way of doing things.
Unfortunately, from time to time our reporters and indeed the editor himself, are subjected to accusations, against the backdrop of violent threats.
How does one as the editor, and even the proverbial village elder, subject young reporters to spaces whereby their very physical safety is under threat?
We have taken a conscious decision that in the event that one of our own gets deliberately subjected to violent threats by sources ranging from sport to politics, individuals to church groups, we henceforth weigh up our legal options.
On another level, we are left with the last six editions for the year.
Write to the Editor at firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 16 Bela-Bela 0480.
5 months ago 09 November 2017