Relief for suspended veteran radio journalist Bateman

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Eyewitness News reporter Barry Bateman has received financial boost via ‘Crowdfunding’ campaign as he serves his one-month suspension without pay. The fundraising was spearheaded by the co-founder of the radio Jonathan Witt. 

“My friend, and journalist, Barry Bateman has been suspended without pay following an incident last month for which he has apologized. If you’re able to help him make ends meet this month please consider making a donation,” said Mr Jonathan Witt.

Mr Witt via his Twitter handle yesterday announced that the campaign has raised enough fund to help the journalist cater for his family needs in the next one month.

“I have deleted my tweet about the crowdfunding for Barry Bateman. A target has been reached which is in line with his monthly salary, and as a result, no further funds are required. Thank you to everyone who so generously contributed,” read his statement.

Eyewitness News is a South African multi-platform news publisher covering both local and international news.

Primedia, a South African media group, crack a whip on Bateman by issuing him one month suspension without pay and a written warning that will last for 12 months for using a derogatory language while talking with fellow reporters on September 10, 2019 after an impromptu press briefing with the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Julius Malema. The incident took place outside Hawk’s office, South Africa’s Directorate for Priority Crime Investigation (DPCI) headquarter.

Bateman’s act drawn criticism forcing the radio to pull him off the air and offer an apology to EFF leader Julius Malema. The journalist also asked for an apology.

“I, Barry Bateman, unreservedly apologize to all South Africans; all women, Mr Julius Malema, the leader of the EFF, my employer, EWN, a part of the Primedia group and everyone else that I offended during my derogatory, insulting and obscene outburst on September 10, 2019. As a senior journalist and a citizen of South Africa, I have a duty to uphold the highest ethical standards and professional conduct, whatever the circumstances or differences I may have with other newsmakers,” Bateman said in a statement.

However, EFF rejected the apology which they described as ‘lukewarm’ and called for Bateman suspension.

“We have long warned that journalists are responsible for the toxic environment that EFF has to operate in, within the media generally. One must simply imagine what would have happened had the EFF responded to Bateman on the scene of his naked provocation. It is obvious that many would blame the EFF for being intolerant of the media and suppressing media freedom,” said EFF spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi in the statement.

By Samuel Ouma