The ANC wants to deal with the negative way it is being portrayed in the media and will accelerate a parliamentary inquiry into establishing a Media Appeals Tribunal, the party’s communications subcommittee member Lindiwe Zulu said on Sunday.
“The feeling is that … the ANC as a liberation movement and as a ruling party is being relegated either to the back pages or if anything a lot of what is reported is something which is only on the side of the negative,” she told reporters at a briefing on the sidelines of the party’s national general council (NGC) meeting in Midrand, Johannesburg.
“We are saying we want to deal with the negative narrative and we think that part of how we can do it is to make sure that we finalise this issue of the media tribunal.”
Zulu, who is also minister of small business development, said the ANC was clear, however, that the constitution as far as media freedom was concerned would be respected.
The parliamentary process would be open and the public would be able to make inputs.
Telecommunications minister and national executive committee member Siyabonga Cwele said the core issue was accountability and delegates at the NGC felt that media self-regulation was not working.
Communications subcommittee member and deputy minister of environmental affairs Jackson Mthembu said the media, particularly print media, had not respected the space it was given by the ANC to do introspection.
He said the ANC had given the media time to look at weaknesses in its self-regulation and even after the press freedom commission, there was still no charter in the media.
“We don’t think the media has, print in particular, indeed respected the space they have been given by the governing party to look at itself critically and that’s why delegates are saying apart from all these issues, the media is also playing an oppositionist role to the ANC and its government.
“That’s why delegates are saying, apart from all the issues, the media is also playing an oppositionist role to the ANC and its government,” Mthembu said.
After the press commission, the office of the press ombudsman had been beefed up in a bid to strengthen regulation.
Mthembu said ANC delegates at the NGC felt that there was a need for a media tribunal.
“Let’s have a parliament doing this inquiry and the ANC is ready to make its representations.” — News24