The South African National Editors' Forum has added its voice to the growing number of groups who have condemned the tweets of eNCA’s head of news Kanthan Pillay.
Pillay in an email to all staff apologised to political journalist Samkele Maseko and to the SABC for his statements on Twitter on Wednesday.
In a tweet, Pillay wrote: “Rats swimming toward a sinking ship #EarlyXmasGift,” which was widely believed to be in reference to eNCA employees joining the SABC.
Ray White speaks to Media Monitoring Africa executive director William Bird to weigh in on the matter.
Even though Twitter is great at breaking news, it is not good at understanding and unpacking nuances at what is actually happening. Once you touch on a number of hot issues in South Africa, the conversation tends to devolve into a lot of things that include meanness and racism.— William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa
He says people have political views and strong points.
But it is another thing to be linked to a political party either in its existing political structures or belonging to it. Most news organisations have a strict policy that says you can't be a member of any political party.— William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa
Given that South Africa has just had elections, and Pillay was one of the founding members of the Purple Cow, eNCA didn't explain how his political views would not affect news that the channel produces, he explains.
Even though he apologised, eNCA needs to be more transparent about its news processes.— William Bird, Executive director - Media Monitoring Africa
Listen below to the full conversation: