Landmark ruling for science journalists

Posted 31 March 2020

By GroundUp Editors

Appeal committee of press council frees media from having to create false balance

landmark ruling by the appeal committee of the Press Council has clarified the obligations of science journalists in South Africa, with immediate implications for coverage of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The ruling arose from an article GroundUp published in March 2019, Quack claims about oxygen treatment are dangerous. The article, clearly categorised at the top as science, described how some companies are making unsubstantiated medical claims about hyperbaric oxygen therapy. This has legitimate purposes – like treating scuba divers who get the bends. But quack companies offer it as a treatment for cancer, autism and much else. Our report named a company making such spurious claims.

The company’s manager lodged a complaint with the press ombud. He argued his company should have been contacted for its Read the rest