Tuesday, February 20, 2018
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Complaints Procedures

  1. complaintsSince one of the Council major objectives is to reconcile and mediate between journalists or media institutions on the one hand, and members of the general public and other institutions on the other, complainants must, before complaining to the Council, first ensure that all avenues and possibilities of reconciliation have been explored to no avail.

  2. All possibilities of reconciliation will not have failed if complaints will not have been allowed to pass through relevant institutional channels. For example, a complaint has first to go to the editor, then chief editor, managing editor, managing director, publisher of chairman whichever is applicable at a given media institution. Some complainants having failed to agree with authors of the stories (reporters) being disputed, they decide to file complaints, directly to the Council, ignoring higher authorities which are in fact better placed to settle such disputes.

  3. Ensure that at the time of filing the complaint, the story being disputed was published or broadcast not more than 12 weeks from the date of publication or broadcast a per Council Rules of Procedure (Section 10.1).

  4. Because mediation is one of the basic pillars of the Council, the Council cannot help complaints whose express purpose (of complaining to the Council) is to get money. Money awarded to complaints in terms of fines from respondents is only a result of mediation, not the basis of filing complaints in the Council. Therefore, the Council advises any would-be complainant whose purpose of coming to the Council is to get money to take their cases to the courts to law.

  5. Complaints filed in the Council must be in writing and must be accompanied by evidence annexed to prove particular allegations of facts.

  6. Complaints to the Council must also state what remedy the complainants want from the Council. For example, a complainant might demand an apology to be printed on the front-page of a newspaper, or broadcast on prime time of a radio or television programme, or money to defray costs incurred (by the complainant) in the process of filing the complaint, etc.

  7. If the complainant is not satisfied with the Council settlement, he/she can resort to court action. However, evidence adduced during the settlement shall not be reproduced in court, in which case, the Council can be called as ‘Amicus Curiae’

  8. The Ethics Committee Regulations,2009 

  9. The Secratariat (Complaints Handling Procedure) Rules,2009


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