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Mastering the Press Code

Ensure compliance and industry best practice with award-winning journalist, Paula Fray

Press Council complaints not only cost editors’ valuable time and energy to deal with, but can irreparably damage your publication’s reputation in audiences’ minds. Journalists bear the ultimate responsibility to your audience and to the people who entrust you to tell their stories. While most journalists know what they’re allowed to do within the limits of the law, the law is just the minimum standard that your reporting should adhere to. The South African Press Code is an industry-accepted guideline for solid, ethical reporting grounded in the highest journalistic standards. Join fraycollege in Mastering the Press Code, to ensure your reporting is in line with industry best practice.

 4-6 weeks online eLearning / 1-2 days training facilitated online or in person

Course overview

The Press Code, as adopted by the Press Council of South Africa, is an industry-regulating code of conduct that guides media practitioners in their behaviour, interactions and the execution of their duties, in the daily practice of gathering and distributing news and opinions. While the country’s laws set a minimum standard for journalists to adhere to, the Press Code takes into account both the ethical as well as the legal requirements on journalists in reporting.  

Knowledge of the Press Code and media law is fundamental to negotiating your way as a journalist or media practitioner in South Africa. The Press Code offers industry-adopted self-regulatory guidelines that protect media practitioners and uphold and promote the rights of freedom of expression and freedom of the press as enshrined in the Constitution of South Africa. 

The Press Code includes regulations and guidelines on the gathering of news and information; media independence and conflict of interests; privacy, dignity and reputation; the protection of personal information; discrimination and hate speech; advocacy; protected comment; reporting on children; violent and graphic content; confidential and anonymous sources; and payment for information. It also covers user-generated content and social media accounts. 

fraycollege consulted South Africa’s top editors and journalists to help you navigate the Press Code and understand your responsibility as a journalist in South Africa. The course should take you a maximum of six weeks, and features an assignment and a final quiz to test your new-found competencies.

Outcomes and goals

  • Self-regulation and legal options
  • Understanding the difference between principles in the press code and media law
  • Protecting sources
  • Avoiding hate speech and defamation
  • Privacy and the public interest
  • How to apply the press code

Training facilitated online or in person

Real time individual and group learning with our media and communications professionals.


Learn online at your own pace on our eLearning platform.



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Paula Fray
Paula Fray
Paula Fray


Paula Fray

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