Rock Solid News charter enshrines the journalistic, creative, programming and publishing independence of the staff of the corporation, and the constitutionally protected right to freedom of expression. In this regard, RSN journalists, its editorial and programming staff, enjoy the prerogative to make independent and professional editorial decisions on programming, scheduling and publishing content.
Rock Solid News respects the inherent dignity of every individual, by refusing to classify anyone into a group, with the sole exception of recognizing that in many sports – women by consensus choose to compete separately.
Rock Solid News will not tolerate any stereotyping of any kind from any contributor.
Rock Solid News management and staff are accountable only to its paying subscribers and paying advertisers.
The principles of honesty, openness and transparency govern all editorial decisions and every aspect of Solid Rock News’s relationships with shareholders, stakeholders, suppliers and the public.
Rock Solid News Editorial Code informs all writing, research, content production, processing and dissemination across its entire spectrum of offerings – online, print, outdoor and broadcasting.
The Editorial Code affirms commitment to the principle of editorial independence and enjoins employees to:
a. report, contextualise, and present news and current affairs honestly by striving to disclose all the essential facts, and by not suppressing relevant, available facts, or distorting through misrepresentation or improper emphasis;
b. understand that readers must have access to relevant, credible, and timely information of the best quality;
c. commission, produce and publish content in a variety of genres and formats.
d. be mindful of the danger of furthering discrimination, and avoid promoting discrimination through it’s content offerings on the grounds of gender, race, language, culture, political persuasion, class, sexual orientation, religious belief, marital status, or disability;
e. not allow commercial, political or personal considerations and prejudices to influence editorial decisions. SRN is expected to provide information and as part of this duty should evaluate, analyse and critically appraise government policies and programmes without fear or favour;
f. consciously and vigilantly exercise editorial independence in executing decisions in all its content, taking into account that it is not the mouthpiece of advertisers, shareholders, government of the day or corporate interests, but covers government in the interest of the public; report, contextualise, and present news and current affairs honestly by striving to disclose all the essential facts, and by not suppressing relevant, available facts, or distorting through misrepresentation or improper emphasis;
g. be free from obligation to any interest group and to prioritise its public interest obligation;
h. respect individuals’ legitimate right to privacy, and avoid intrusion into private lives, grief and distress, unless it is justified by overriding considerations of
public interest;
i. be circumspect and sensitive in publishing any form of brutality, violence and human catastrophes;
j. always seek to achieve balance by presenting a diversity of views in all content that requires impartiality. While fairness may not always be
achieved in a single programme or content offering, it should be done within reasonable time and be guided by news value and editorial merit in reaching
editorial judgements. Fairness does not require editorial staff to be unquestioning, nor require SRN to give every side of an issue the same amount
of time;
k. be enterprising in perceiving, pursuing and presenting issues that affect individuals and society, in the quest to fulfil the public’s right to know;
l. not accept gifts, favours, free travel, or other special treatment or privileges that could compromise the integrity of the public broadcasting service;
m. As a general obligation, all forms journalism should be conducted transparently. Discreet and covert methods may be used only with due regard to their legality, considerations such as fairness and invasion of privacy, and whether the information being sought is so significant and in the public interest that it warrants public disclosure but cannot be obtained by other means;
n. resolutely uphold the principle of journalistic freedom and treat protection of sources as an important part of this principle. In the event that protection of a source becomes a legal matter, court orders cannot be disobeyed, but should be studied and appealed if needed.
o. correct any inaccuracies and misrepresentation in content timeously;
p. provide opportunities for open dialogue with audiences across all SABC’s broadcasting and publishing platforms;
q. tell stories from a free and just societal perspective and deal with issues that are important to the public, including local, continental and global matters, and giving these proper context
Every journalist is fully responsible and accountable for his or her own product. Solid Rock News provides an upwards referral service to an editor, at which time both the journalist and editor will share responsibility. The upwards referral process is voluntary and offered purely as a service to journalists.

By Editor

2 thought on “Rock Solid News Editorial Code”
  1. We do expect every contributor to read the code and learn it as far as they can and always check their contributions according to the code. We will however consider presenting it in modular form for easier learning in future.

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