SA News Blog Editorial Policy

As the SA News Blog, we commit ourselves to the highest standards of blogging.


We are a contributor driven guest blogging news provider.  All content published on our website,social media and digital platforms shall be in line with Section 16 of the constitution of South Africa.  Our aim is to fulfill our aims and objectives and balance them with the general right to know. We honour those who came before us,who made immense sacrifices in order to preserve the rights freedom of expression.


1. Sourcing

Our first duty is to report accurately. We will take care to evaluate information provided to us and to cross-check it as much as possible before publishing.

The contributor takes sole responsibility for the accuracy of the content posted

1.1 The more serious and controversial a claim is, the more corroboration will be required before it can be published.

1.2 Anonymous blog posts will not be published.Contributors must provide verifiable contact details when submitting content for publication on any of our platforms.

1.3 Anonymity will only be granted if the source can persuade us that they have sound reasons for the request. It is not available to people peddling rumour, comment or spin. However, once it has been granted, the website will protect the identity of the source.

1.4 We will take particular care with information that is passed on to us in furtherance of a particular agenda, and will seek additional corroboration in the light of the motives and interests of a source.

1.5 Plagiarism will not be tolerated.

1.6 Headlines, must fairly reflect the content of articles.

1.7 Special care will be taken with details like numbers, dates, names and words from South African languages other than English.


2. Fairness

We will treat the sources and subjects of our reporting fairly, making sure they have a full opportunity to respond to reporting that may affect them.  This means providing them with an opportunity to submit a rebuttal on our website provided the rebuttal is submitted via our article submission form. Only after the accuracy of a rebuttal has been verified will publication be considered at the sole discretion of the editorial team.

3. Independence

Our journalistic duty to inform the public trumps all other considerations, whether they are financial, political, personal or any other non-professional interests. This includes the business interests of the website itself. We will avoid conflicts of interest as well as the appearance of conflicts of interest.


3.1 Editorial material will be kept clearly distinct from advertising or any paid-for content. Any outside support for editorial work, such as through sponsored travel, will be declared if at all relevant.


3.2 Gifts, favours and freebies will be handled in accordance to the website’s policy, which is designed to underline that our goodwill cannot be bought through these means.


3.3 Submissions from contributors will be accepted on the assumption that they own the copyright thereto and will be removed from the website if we are made aware that any copyright has been infringed.


4. Minimising harm

We recognise that the media can have a harmful impact on the subjects of our reports, our sources, our audiences and society in general, and pledge to minimise it. We will take particular care when dealing with vulnerable people and groups.


4.1 We will not fuel racism or racist stereotypes, and respect the constitutional prohibition of hate speech. We will take note of sensitivities arising from our history, but will not shy away from reporting issues involving race. We acknowledge that racial attitudes are often deeply ingrained, and will always be willing to interrogate our news choices and other editorial decisions for any unspoken and hidden assumptions that may be distorting our judgment.


4.2 We acknowledge the multiple layers of disadvantage affecting black people, women and other groups, and our reporting will always reflect this insight.


4.3 We will avoid racial labels unless they are essential to understanding.  Similarly, we will avoid other labels that may feed into social prejudices of various kinds, around religion, culture, gender, sexual orientation, HIV status and many others. We will be careful to avoid anything that fuels xenophobia.


4.4 We will take note of social sensitivities around religion, death, the portrayal of nudity, sex and violence, the use of strong language and others. We will not offend these sensitivities gratuitously.


4.5 Any infringement of an individual's privacy - a right guaranteed in the constitution - must be fully justified by a clear and strong public interest. It must be carefully considered, and proportionate to the level of public interest. We recognise that people in positions of importance or who have sought a life in the public eye have a reduced right to privacy.


4.6 We will take great care to avoid the possibility of direct harm to a source. 

4.7 We will take particular care to avoid harm to children.  While it is important to seek out the views of children, we will not do anything that may expose them to abuse, discrimination, retribution, embarrassment or any other risk. We will make sure that we consult with a parent or guardian about any impact our reporting may have on the child. We will not use sexualised images of children.


5.  Reporting methods

We will use open, honest means to gather information. Exceptions can only be made when there is strong public interest in a story and there are no alternative methods available.


5.1 We will identify ourselves as reporters/bloggers to potential sources. 

5.2 We will respect off-the-record and similar arrangements.  Agreements with sources must be clear, and are binding on the newspaper and its journalists/bloggers.


5.3 We do not pay for information.


5.4 We do not allow sources to vet our reports before publication.  Sometimes, however, it is advisable for contributors to check back to ensure the accuracy of  technically complex information, quotes and the like.


5.5 We advise contributors to keep record of all information gathered during the writing of an article.


6. Accountability

We accept the same level of public scrutiny and accountability as we subject others to. At all times, responses to complaints will be generous, helpful and governed by the need to make sure readers get the fullest information available.


6.1 We will correct errors with due prominence as soon as we become aware of them. Errors online will not be invisibly corrected. Instead, a note with the correction will be posted with the original article.


6.2 In addition to corrections of factual errors, the website offers the following corrective measures:

A clarification, where an article may have lead to a mistaken impression even though it does not contain factual mistakes;

A right of reply, where a full response was not initially included;

An apology; where justified.

These measures can be used in conjunction, and are at the editor's discretion.


7. General

7.1 Contributors are not to submit any content which has the aim of degrading or humiliating anyone..


7.2 Contributors are expected to write fairly and honestly, but this does not suggest a bar on strongly opinionated writing. Fact and opinion will be clearly distinguishable.  The website will seek out a wide range of views, including particularly voices not often heard.


7.3  Criticism of the website and its approach is welcome, but basic standards of decency will be enforced.


7.4 This code applies to all contributors,where there is doubt,please contact the editorial team of the website


Exercise good judgment. Your comments will be open to misinterpretation and malicious repostings. Always think before you hit enter. Your comments will be monitored - that's the nature of social media - and will be passed on to your employer. As our reputation is predicated on dealing with controversial subjects, this will always be a contested area.


(Note: Many of these points are a variation of those found on the excellent Mail & Guardian guidelines)

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