With a myriad experiences out there, what can South Africa learn in regard to reform (or replacing) the press self-regulatory system?
In order to avoid ad hoc or opportunistic borrowing, I devised a system. It's a tripartite test that focuses on (a) Matching our situ to a source context and purpose, (b) Abstracting a general model, and (c) Destination fitness analysis. (or M.A.D if you want an easy acronym).
It was a useful exercise that informed my submission to the Press Council's self review.
The SA Press Council has called for submissions as part of its review. So I started writing... and writing. Almost 4000 words and nine pages later, there are more than a couple of ideas about how press self-regulation can be strengthened. In a nutshell:
1. Change the name of the whole institution to "Press Accountability South Africa" (PASA).
2. Create separate bodies for adjudication and appeals.
3. Provide a Public Advocate to assist complainants, and an Advocacy Officer to drive public awareness.
At the African Media Leadership Conference, I was asked to speak on the topic: "'Broad Market'" journalism training is dead;welcome journalism training for specific media clients".
Here's the irony: talking to a broad audience about general principles - and trying to achieve specific value for each person...
Another irony: it's not the audience (jointly or singly) who benefits most from training; the most learning is done by the trainer.
Is there some Freudian confusion in this story (see screengrab below)? The pic is of Sol Mokoetle, suspended CEO of SABC. Was the Business Day web-editor deep-down wishing that Blade would also be suspended - or is this "professional" just downright visually illiterate? Alternatively, perhaps it's an ANC/SACP mole deployed to add fuel to the critique of the press...