MMP wins a great victory over the word ‘alien’

Posted: 3 November 2008 | News - Media Release | Categories: Race, Xenophobia and Ethnicity, Media Freedom and Performance

The Appeal was heard before the SA Press Appeal Tribunal on Wednesday, 22 October 2008. The MMP’s Counsel, Advocate Steven Budlender argued exceptionally well and made many excellent points.

At the close of the hearing and presumably because of the manner in which the MMP presented its case and the validity of its complaints against the Daily Sun, the Daily Sun’s legal representatives approached the MMP and CoRMSA’s representatives and indicated that their client wanted to settle the matter and not await the ruling of the Press Appeals Panel. The MMP considered this and determined that the long term benefit of settling and improving the Daily Sun’s coverage of Foreign Nationals was worth settling the matter.

As a result, the matter became settled on the following basis:
The Daily Sun was to print the following statement in the Daily Sun on 27 October 2008 (which it duly did):

“The Media Monitoring Project (MMP) and the Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa (CoRMSA) lodged a complaint against Daily Sun concerning its use of the word “aliens” to describe foreigners. The Press Ombudsman, Mr Joe Thloloe, found in favour of Daily Sun. The Chairperson of the South African Press Appeals Panel, Judge Ralph Zulman, then granted the MMP and CoRMSA leave to appeal against that finding.

After a hearing of the appeal before the Press Appeals Panel, on 22 October, the parties agreed to settle their dispute on the basis that Daily Sun will no longer use the word “aliens” to describe foreigners. Daily Sun regards itself as bound by the Press Code. The dispute is now finalised.”

The effect of this settlement is that the Daily Sun is not, in the future, allowed to refer to foreigners as “aliens” in any article printed in the Daily Sun. We consider this a vital victory for the MMP, CoRMSA as well as the process of self regulation.

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For more information on the complaint or about the Media Monitoring Project, contact William Bird; .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) +27 (0) 11 788 1278 /+27 (0) 82 887 1370.

See the full complaint.