eNCA responds after incidents of racial profiling by their senior reporter make rounds on Social Media

24 Hour News Channel, eNCA, has responded to what they call “an incident relating to her (eNCA political reporter, Lindsay Dentlinger) alleged inconsistent behaviour when applying Covid-19 protocols during a live broadcast.”

This is the same incident that shocked many South Africans of all racial groups who took to Social Media to express their disgust after an eNCA political reporter, Lindsay Dentlinger, was seen in a video interviewing the leader of VF Plus, Pieter Groenewald, who was not wearing a mask, but soon after that she interviewed UDM’s member of parliament, Nqabayomzi Kwankwa, and insisted that he wears his mask.

Other videos with similar inconsistencies began to surface on social media; others include when she was interview DA Leader, John Steenhuisen who didn’t wear a mask, Mkhuleko Hlengwa of the IFP and ANC MP Bongani Bongo who were both instructed to wear masks.

In a statement released by eNCA, the channel says they understand how “an excerpt of Dentlinger’s coverage could have created a space for general public conjecture.  However, eNCA Management, after meeting with Dentlinger to discuss the matter concluded that her conduct was not racially motivated or with malicious intent.”

“Dentlinger is a seasoned journalist with over 21 years of experience, 9 of which has been with eNCA. In her tenure with eNCA, she has primarily focused on political news.  Having worked in print, radio and television, Dentlinger has interviewed many high-profile politicians from all sectors and parties without anyone calling her conduct into question. This incident represents an inaccurate and unfair image of her work,” reads the statement.

eNCA believes that this is not an incidence of racial profiling but rather of a crew that works very hard under immense pressure to deliver coverage on LIVE television. The channel is also, according to the statement, of the view that this is about adherence to the covid 19 regulations, even though white people seem to be allowed to speak without their masks on, while black people are not.

FULL STATEMENT: eNCA Responds to the ‘Pieter Groenewald’ Mask Issue

Johannesburg – On Wednesday 24 February 2021, during the coverage of the 2021 Budget Speech, eNCA’s Reporter Lindsay Dentlinger became central to an incident relating to her alleged inconsistent behaviour when applying Covid-19 protocols during a live broadcast.

eNCA understands how an excerpt of Dentlinger’s coverage could have created a space for general public conjecture.  However, eNCA Management, after meeting with Dentlinger to discuss the matter concluded that her conduct was not racially motivated or with malicious intent.

Dentlinger is a seasoned journalist with over 21 years of experience, 9 of which has been with eNCA. In her tenure with eNCA, she has primarily focused on political news.  Having worked in print, radio and television, Dentlinger has interviewed many high-profile politicians from all sectors and parties without anyone calling her conduct into question. This incident represents an inaccurate and unfair image of her work.

“In an intense live broadcast environment like the Budget Speech coverage, our journalists are under pressure to remain compliant while delivering fair, accurate and balanced news. The journalist had to contend with being live on air and taking producer instructions via her earpiece and unfortunately failed to request that the interviewee wear a mask. Criticism to this extent leveled at a journalist under these circumstances is unfair and unfortunate. Comments and some video content that are currently being shared is maliciously misleading.” said John Bailey, Managing Editor of eNCA.

When it comes to adherence to Covid-19 protocols, eNCA has broadcast extensive content to educate viewers while journalists are regularly urged to ensure that they and all interviewees remain compliant.

“After carefully analyzing the situation, we understand that given the pressure of the live TV environment such unplanned occurrences can occur. Through our deliberations, we have found that there is no mal intent on the part of the journalist. We further found that the way the journalist and eNCA has been perceived through this incident is unfair and not a true reflection of the journalist or our channel. We also appreciate the sensitivity of the matter and people’s concerns and reaffirm our commitment to encouraging compliance with regulations designed to inhibit transmission of Covid-19 across our population irrespective of race, colour or creed” Managing Director, Norman Munzhelele stated.

All articles written by a STAFF WRITER have been checked and verified to the best of our abilities. Should you have any queries or concerns, please don't hesitate to email them to info@after12mag.co.za

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