Journalist Edwin Ntshidi has drawn criticism for dumping his craft to take up a political position as PR councillor for Action SA in Johannesburg.
Ntshidi, a freelance reporter, covered the recently concluded municipal elections for EWN.
Commenting on the development, the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF) on Wednesday said, “it has sadly, and regrettably, learnt of the election of Edwin Ntshidi as a PR councillor of Action SA in the City of Johannesburg”.
Taking issue with Ntshidi’s move to politics, SANEF said it must be noted the freelancer never disclosed to EWN his political ambitions.
“While we are happy that he is no longer a reporter, and his association with EWN ceased, we are equally concerned at his conduct and why he agreed to be an Action SA candidate, while he was reporting on politics, including the very same party he now represents,” said the editors’ forum.
SANEF said that it takes ethical journalism, fair and balanced reporting, and the non-association of journalists with political parties seriously, “hence our disappointment at this latest development”.
SANEF added: “This development is in contrast with the work the entire media fraternity, SANEF, and other stakeholders, have been doing in regaining the lost trust in the media.
“Journalists are always advised to steer clear of conflict of interest, be trustworthy, and do their work with integrity.”
However, the reality is that in recent years low salaries and poor working conditions have seen journalism as a profession fall down the pecking order of attractiveness.