The Eastern Cape SAPS Corporate Communication-Provincial: Head Office took a road less travelled and doors less opened by many SAPS communications officials when they paid a visit to Rhodes University third year journalism students today.
The aim was to engage with students, build new bridges and improve relations between the SAPS and media stakeholders.
A delegation of five, led by Corporate Communications Acting Provincial Head:Col Michelle Matroos, Media Centre Commanders; Capt Khaya Tonjeni, Capt Mali Govender and two interns Abongile Mtyeku and Zolisa Magini were welcomed by the host lecturer, Writing and Editing Mr Sim Kyazzee.
After a brief introduction and presentation on SAPS Communications, media relations product and services, a questions and answer session helped raise and clarify a number of issues.
The following pointers were brought under the attention of the attendees.
Journalist should keep in mind when a communicator releases any information there must be a balance and consideration be given to the following:
1. The rights of the suspect that's arrested.
2.The rights of the victim and sensitivity to family.
3.The reputation of the organisation and adherence to its guiding policies and instructions.
4. Public's interest and the right to know- which is channelled via journalists.
5. Legal aspects, civil claims, testimonies and exhibits- court case still to be held.
6. The availability of information depends on internal factors which eventually determine the turnaround time of responses.
7. The investigation is of utmost importance and will be protected so as not to jeopardise the case.
During the question and answer session that followed, the young 3rd year students were very interested in the roles of CPF structures. They were also impressed in the functions and the products of the Corporate Communication Section.
They also expressed a keen interest in our democratised police service which led to an informative discussion of the how the SAPS has democratised, to name a few, the establishment of community Police Forums and the establishment of IPID.
The session concluded with the Lecturer sharing his gratitude for the visit of the SAPS and invited the team hold a similar session with other students.
Source: South African Police Service