e-Forum / Media Alert

The code and scope of Swaziland’s media complaints commission

MISA-Swaziland e-Forum article

The following document was produced by Mr Jabu Matsebula, Ombudsman of Swaziland’s Media Complaints Commission 

Professional code
The MCC is mandated with implementing the Swaziland Journalists Code of Ethics.  The code was developed collaboratively and endorsed by the Swaziland Editors Forum and the Swaziland National Association of Journalists in 2006. It is the common code applicable to all newsrooms in Swaziland, including Since the secretariat came into office, appointment of the

Since assumption of office the MCC Secretariat in collaboration with media institutions has undertaken advocacy and outreach activities to promote public awareness of the availability of the MCC with radio and TV appearances as well as newspaper interviews and responses to questions and concerns regarding the operations of the mechanism.

Since April the two newspapers regularly publish half page advertisements at no cost to the MCC, promoting public awareness of the accessibility of the commission and the right of the public to submit complaints.

Both newspapers have also assigned a permanent spot on page 2 of each publication issue declaring a commitment to professional standards in complaince with a code of ethics, and their subcription to the MCC as a voluntary complaints mediation and arbitration mechanism. The notices advise readers of their right to complain to the editor, and that where they are not satified, their right to escalate their complaints to the MCC. The notices carry the contact details of the MCC Ombudsman including Office Address, Postal Address, telephone number and email.

Scope of coverage of the MCC
The self regulatory mechanism is for the time being, applicable only to the print media. This was the condition stipulated by the Government as part of the protracted negotiations leading to the acceptance of the principle of self regulation.

The Government insisted that the broadcast sector as it is government owned and controlled, will continue to be regulated by government rules.

Accordingly, the MCC is supported by the two national media institutions, the Times of Swaziland and the Swazi Observer who have committed to pay monthly subscriptions of E2500.00 (about $250) per institution.

To get in touch with Swaziland’s Media Complaints Commission, contact Mr Jabu Matsebula via on email on ombudsman@realnet.co.sz or call 2404 9700 or 2404 6677.

MCC notice in Times of Swaziland

How to correct the press… the notice on page 1 of the Times of Swaziland inviting readers to contact the newspaper’s internal ombudsman or the media complaints ombudsman if they feel something needs to be corrected, or if readers believe the code of ethics has been breached

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