Mr Elwin White vs Daily Sun

28 November 2011

Dear Elwin
Your complaint against the Daily Sun refers.
You complain that:
·         your side of the story was not asked for or told – which resulted in you losing a contract, plus your integrity; and
·         although the words that the story ascribes to you were accurate, you were not talking to the journalist when you spoke and argue that the journalist should therefore not have quoted you.
From this, you conclude that the story was unbalanced (which has led to the harm mentioned above).
You are also not happy with the headline (It’s a power struggle!)
You ask for an apology and for your side of the story to be published.
I have decided to dismiss your complaint. This is why:
·         The story was about City Power (that had designed a device to monitor and identify illegally connected pre-paid meters) who went house-to-house issuing fines and disconnecting bridged meters – there were obviously conflicting views on this matter and both sides were mentioned (which included you);
·         Because of the above, I believe that the story was balanced enough;
·         The journalist may have quoted you because your words were uttered in public; and
·         Because the issue was about electricity, and the story reflected two opposing views on the matter, I find the headline to be fitting.
You can apply for leave to appeal by writing to the chairperson of the Press Appeals Panel, Judge Ralph Zulman, fully setting out your reasons. He can be reached on khanyim@ombudsman.org.za.
Kind regards
Johan

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