INDABA Newsletter | February 2013

Networking forums

Thank you very much to the dti, Proudly SA and Brand SA for hosting February’s member networking forum, where they introduced the SA Premier Business Awards. It was a most enjoyable and interesting evening!

Members were addressed by Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African.
Members were addressed by Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African.
Members were addressed by Leslie Sedibe, CEO of Proudly South African.

We look forward to seeing members at our regular monthly networking forums throughout 2013. Watch this space for exciting announcements!

Also visit the press club’s Facebook page for further announcements.

Online news regulation coming but not for reader comments

The Press Council is making plans to extend its code to news websites.

This follows several changes made by the Press Council to the ethics part of the Press Code, as well as structural adjustments within the council.

This proposed change to extend the press code to online platforms means news websites will be held to the same ethical standards as their print titles.

The proposed changes will not affect readers’ comments on news websites.

Head of Publishers of the Digital Media & Marketing Association (DMMA), Timothy Spira, questioned how it would work without any real previous regulation on the Internet.

“This is a new and largely uncharted area in which there is scant legislative guidance or common law precedent in South Africa,” he said.

The DMMA encouraged publishers and platform providers to tread carefully, using their judgement in limiting the space for hate speech to the extent that it is in their power to do so, but not at the expense of the kind of open debate that makes the Internet such a valuable and progressive medium.

Press Ombudsman Johan Retief said: “The website issue cropped up when we discussed our mandate that did at that stage not extended to the Internet. We felt that it would make our system more credible and efficient if we broaden our mandate to online material from publications that ascribe to the Press Code and therefore are part of the system of regulation.”

He added that it does not make sense to regulate the press based on texts published on paper only – all publications should take responsibility for what they publish on their websites.

When the going gets tough

The past few weeks have been extremely busy on the news front and pressure on journalists was at unprecedented levels. The Oscar Pistorius story followed on the heels of the tragic rape of Anene Booysen in Bredasdorp.

While the rush of adrenalin is exciting and every journo loves working on a once-in-a-lifetime story, the stress can also take its toll on us.

Add to that the turbulence in many media houses and it becomes clear that journos might also be in need of some TLC.

Times New Media (previously Avusa) has new owners and we saw many changes at editor’s level at their publications. Independent’s SA operations were recently bought by a Sekunjalo-led consortium and while bringing ownership home to South Africa seems to be a positive, it remains to be seen what changes working journalists will have to deal with.

Financial print media are in crisis after a change in JSE rules cost them advertising and there have been retrenchments at BDFM and Sake24. In fact, Media 24 has retrenched about 150 people in the past year.

The harsh reality and dangers of not dealing with our stress has been underlined by the tragic death of top financial journalist Greta Steyn recently at her own hand. Steyn was retrenched earlier from Finweek and apparently very lonely since.

The National Press Club is primarily a networking platform and can play a part in building a support system for journalists. It will, however, be wise for every working journalist to take a moment and think about what gives meaning to your life outside of work. Build on that and on meaningful relationships that can sustain you when the going gets tough.

And don’t be too proud to seek help if you need it.

Antoinette Slabbert, Chairperson

Journalist of the Year competition – deadline extended

The deadline for entries in the 2012 National Press Club – North-West University Journalist of the Year competition has been extended until Friday, 8 March 2013.

With a combined prize money of R65 000, the competition caters for ten categories. The categories are –


  • News
  • Features
  • Photography


  • Radio news
  • Radio in-depth features
  • TV news
  • TV in-depth features
  • TV cameraperson
  • Online media
  • Social media

Each category winner receives R5 000. From the ten categories an overall winner will be selected. To determine this, the scores and a discussion by judges will be taken into account. The overall winner receives an additional R10 000.

The winners will be announced at the club’s Newsmaker of the Year awards function.

Visit for details and entry forms.

Please remember to include two copies of your work as we have two independent adjudicators for each category.

Welcome to new press club members

The National Press Club welcomes the following new members:

John Kisimir – World Vision International, Faisel Muhammad – The South Africa News, Christine Mphahlele – University of Pretoria, Liezl le Roux – Eastern Times, Ockert de Villiers – SA Press Association.

We hope to see you at a networking forum soon!

See you at emBARgo

Members are reminded about happy hour at the press club bar emBARgo, every Friday from 17:00 to 19:00. The bar is in the cellar of the Orange Restaurant in the Court Classique Hotel, corner of Beckett and Francis Baard (previously Schoeman) Streets, Arcadia.

Thank you for paying membership fees

Thank you to those press club members who have already paid their membership fees for 2013.

Members who have not yet done so, are requested to pay their fees as soon as possible.

Membership fees are R220 for full members, R350 for associate members and R150 for student members.

Members are requested to use their invoice number as reference when payment is done, so that it can be picked up easily by the secretariat.


Please send any news, suggestions or information for this newsletter to Martin van Niekerk at the secretariat on, 082 257 0305. Website | Facebook | Twitter