Did @TimesLIVE breach Press Codes over DJ S’bu report?

A report like this is one of those used by pro-Media Tribunal supporters, and the media is not helping the situation at all.

Times LIVE today ran a story about DJ S’bu’s break up with his girlfriend, titled “DJ Sbu’s ex opens up about breakup: ‘I didn’t cheat on him’”, citing the source thereof as Sunday Sun (published yesterday – and I think this is the case because Times LIVE report does not indicate when Sunday Sun first published these claims, and also this is because Sunday Sun is a weekly newspaper, published by Media24 group on Sundays only).

Times Live Report on DJ S'bu's unconfirmed break up claims.

Times Live Report on DJ S’bu’s unconfirmed break up claims.

The story was published today just before 1pm (at exactly 12:50 pm). Times LIVE said Sunday Sun attempts to get DJ S’bu for comment were not successful, claiming, his phone rang unanswered.

My concern is not so much, if any, about the allegations but that the same allegations were repeated by Times LIVE yet not confirmed with and or denied by the subject thereof, DJ S’bu. This, in my view, is unprofessional. My concern here is simply the SA Press Codes breach by Times LIVE.

I therefore find it strange and unprofessional why Times LIVE had failed to make any effort today – and prior to running with the same claims – in seeking DJ S’bu’s comments on the report before using Sunday Sun’s claim the previous day that DJ S’bu’s phone rang unanswered when it called for his comment at the time.

This is especially the case because the second report – or republication of said claims by Times LIVE – came after more than 12 hours after the first report by Sunday Sun yet the republisher (Times LIVE) failed to seek the subject’s comment and instead ran with the first publisher’s comment issue: his phone rang unanswered.

This failure implies Times LIVE failed to comply with Press Codes: contact subject before (re)publishing a story about them.

Or that if you did contact DJ S’bu for comment but was not available, it did not indicate as such in same report about any such unsuccessful attempt for their seeking his comments before publication.

Is it therefore correct that Times LIVE – by virtue of not having contacted DJ S’bu today (31 Aug 2015) for comment about claims first published yesterday (30 Aug 2015) or having failed to show proof that it did but that he was not available for comment, and indicating as such the in the same report – breached the Press Codes referred to above?

NB: This is my edited Facebook status first published on 31 Aug 2015.

Correction – 1 Sept 2015: An earlier version indicated Sunday Sun is published by Times Media group. That was incorrect – it is Media24 that publishes Sunday Sun. Thanks to the error pointed our by Melinda.

2 thoughts on “Did @TimesLIVE breach Press Codes over DJ S’bu report?

    • Dear Melinda,

      Thanks for the correction, – it has been noted.

      Are you then suggesting “aggregation” should be used without even complying with Press Codes: contact subject?

      The first article was published on Sunday and the subject was contacted but not available, and the second report was published on Monday and there is not indication the subject, too, was not available and or could not be reached for comment on Monday. Why?

      Before republishing the same claims, why didn’t the second publisher confirm with the subject those claims before repeating them?

      If the same claims had been published immediately on Sunday after the first report, maybe I would suppose the aggregation defence is reasonable. But that, still, does not excuse Times LIVE for failing to contract S’bu for comment. That, to me at least, seems unacceptable and unprofessional.

      And by using this aggregation defence of reporting, lies and misinformation will continue to being published and republished because secondary publishers failed to confirm such claims with the subject thereof.

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