21 January 2013

South Africa: Statement in Response to an Article By Business Report

press release

Government notes the article published by Independent Newspapers' Business Report section last Friday 18 January, in which Ministers are accused of being disrespectful towards the media by being late without reasonable explanations. The article further claims that this is the culture in government communication. Whilst noting the frustration of the journalist, it is our view that the generalisation is unfortunate.

We are mindful of the pressures that reporters are under as they work towards meeting their deadlines and we appreciate this. Importantly, we also strive at all times to display a high level of professionalism when we interact with members of the media.

The work of government is fundamentally enhanced by good and effective communication. It is therefore not in our interest to deliberately disrespect the work we do. We continue to remain true to the mandate of communicating the benefits of our young democracy to the citizens of our country and we'll take every step to improve areas of weakness.

As a caring public service in communication, we undertake to constantly seek ways to improve so as to serve the members of the public in a professional manner. Government communication seeks at all times to operate in a professional manner. It is therefore unfair to generalise on an incident(s) wherein the journalist felt short changed.

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