THE EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum of Namibia has appointed human rights lawyer Clement Daniels as Ombudsman to deal with public complaints against the media, according to a media release.
Mr Daniels has a strong background with regard to human rights and the law. He worked for he Legal Assistance Centre for 15 years and served as Director of the LAC for nearly five.
e later served as a magistrate in the regional and labour courts, and is currently employed by the Namibian Standards Institution.
He was appointed at an extraordinary meeting of the EFN held on Friday, 7 August 2009, and he has accepted the appointment with immediate effect. The EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ meeting also unanimously adopted amendments to its Constitution, including a Code of Ethics to govern journalists and the establishment of a self-regulatory process in respect of grievances and complaints by members of the public against the media.
Public complaints will be dealt with by a Media Ombudsman, a Media Complaints Committee and a Media Appeals Board established for the purpose of receiving and adjudicating on complaints of members of the public against the media.
The EFN also adopted a Complaints Procedure in terms of the Code of Ethics. The issue of a self-regulatory mechanism for the media has been on the agenda of the EditorsÃƒâ€šÃ‚Â´ Forum since its formal establishment in June 2007. In terms of the new process, the public will nominate a panel of persons (from both the general public and the media) to serve on the Media Complaints Committee. Out of these, the EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum will then appoint 12 persons, six from the general public and six from the media, to alternately sit on the Media Complaints Committee.
The Appeals Chairperson will be a retired judge or magistrate with knowledge of the Namibia media landscape. The EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum is currently seeking the help of the Judge President and the Law Society in identifying such a person.
The EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum will also embark on a campaign to familiarise the public with the Code of Ethics as well as the complaints procedure.
Namibia EditorsÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢ Forum
PO Box 26463, Windhoek