Editor: Mzi Velapi, firstname.lastname@example.org
To get involved with Elitsha, contact your local community media forum in the following townships:
Simon Ramapuputla, email@example.com
Khayelitsha (CTN), Zwide (PE)
Lunga Guza, firstname.lastname@example.org
Anele Mbi, email@example.com
Orange Farm (JHB)
Dibuseng Phaloane, firstname.lastname@example.org
News and features production policy
Objectivity, accuracy, fairness, impartiality and balance
- WWMP supports the right to freedom of expression and undertakes to respect that right.
- Each member of Workers World Media Productions news staff is obliged to uphold the highest professional and ethical standards.
- Stories must at all times be contextualised and presented honestly by disclosing all the essential facts.
- Advertising, commercial, political or personal considerations are not allowed to influence WWMP editorial decisions.
- Workers World is expected to provide information relevant to its audience and in order to fulfill this duty we evaluate, analyse and critically appraise trade unions, business, government and other relevant role players within civil society whilst having a “working class bias”.
- WWMP is an independent production house and is not a mouthpiece of trade unions, federations, government, political parties/groups or business.
- One of our key roles is to enable the voice and expression of working class views in their own interests. We reserve the right to ensure that trade unions, their federations’ government, employers and business account to the working class by reporting objectively, accurately, interpreting and analyzing the impact that certain policies or decisions can have on the working class.
- WWMP shall not manipulate any story to its audience that should be given fair and accurate information and left to make its own decisions and form its own opinions.
- The editorial decisions taken by WWMP are guided by the merit of its newsworthiness and working class interests.
- While fairness in reporting is of great importance to WWMP it does not necessarily mean WWMP news staff will be unquestioning, or WWMP will be required to give every side of an issue and the same amount of time.
- We do not put ourselves in positions that might require us to compromise our integrity including:
- free travel
- and special treatment, or privileges
- Offers of this nature should be disclosed or forwarded to the editor.
- We are accountable to the working class and therefore focus mainly on issues that are of importance to them, including local, African and international issues.
- It is the responsibility of WWMP news and editorial staff and consultants to avoid their personal views or perceptions to lead to any form or perception of inequity or prejudice. In order to meet the required standard of journalistic objectivity. It is the responsibility of WWMP news staff to be aware of such personal opinions, beliefs and preferences, and to take them into account in gathering and transmitting news.
- WWMP news staff is expected to report fairly without taking sides or being biased. This is expected even when they report stories on WWMP.
Language and tone in news
- Considering the divided history of our country WWMP understands the importance of correct use of language.
- This is done by taking into account the needs and sensitivities of our audience.
- WWMP news and productions are produced and broadcast in five of the most spoken official languages in South Africa and we seek to treat and report all these languages equally in terms of quality and quantity. (Afrikaans, English, IsiXhosa, isiZulu and Sesotho)
- The tone and pitch used in WWMP news takes into account the diversity of our country i.e. different cultures, educational levels and experiences.
- We at all times seek to use language that is understandable and accessible to the majority of our target audience, whilst not compromising the standards of the language.
- Since inaccuracies easily creep in when stories are translated, WWMP will ensure that translators employed have an understanding and the required language skills to translate stories accurately.
Interviewing for sound bites
- Interviews form a very important part of news as stories are required to have sound bites that provide the actual voices of those reported on. We will therefore ensure that WWMP news staff has the necessary skills in this regard.
- Interviews should always be purposeful and probing this includes explaining to the interviewee the purpose of the interview.
- WWMP news staff should at all times ensure that the interviewee understands the questions and if necessary questions should be repeated.
- No assumptions should be made regarding interviewees responses and we will consistently request that interviewees clarify answers.
- All WWMP news staff is prohibited from reconstructing or editing the interviewees ‘comments’ such that it changes meaning of what the interviewee said.
- In cases where the interviewee attempts to mislead or give untrue details, interruption or questioning of the untrue fact is necessary but this must at all times be done professionally.
Paying for information
- WWMP does not pay people for information nor does it bribe them in any form to give their stories or comments.
- In cases where there is no other way of getting the information and the story is of public interest the WWMP staff must refer the case to the editor for a decision.
- When payment has been made, this fact must be reported in the broadcast.
Protection of sources and privacy
- Where sources do not want their identities to be known, the information obtained from them can be used but WWMP news staff must respect the sources confidentiality.
- WWMP uses the information obtained from confidential sources only when:
- the source is known to the WWMP news staff and the source has credibility.
- the WWMP news staff has checked the reliability of the source and obtained corroboratory evidence from other relevant sources.
- The identity and evidence of good intentions of the confidential source have been disclosed to the editor ahead of distribution and broadcast.
- In cases where WWMP news staff is taken to the court of law regarding confidentiality of sources, and whilst WWMP does not encourage its staff to violate court orders it will support staff by providing legal assistance.
- WWMP has a responsibility to respect individuals’ right to privacy, and will not violate such privacy unless it is justifiable in the interest of its audience.
Gender and representation
- WWMP views gender equality as one of the key elements of strengthening democracy and promoting equality in our country. WWMP and therefore commits itself to include the opinions and perspectives of women in its news and feature productions.
- WWMP staff is required at all times to ensure fair gender representation in all productions while ensuring that women are not only reported on when they are victims of crime or domestic violence but also their role in society, labour movement, economy, community and other spheres of life should also be acknowledged and reported upon.