Sunday, August 1, 2010
ANC can’t handle a mirror that doesn’t say its the fairest of all
Posted: July 31st, 2010 | By Ray Hartley | Posted in General
Tagged as ANC, classified, freedom, media, media tribunal, MP, Parliament, proposals, protection of information, speech, Sunday Times
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THE beauty of the ANC’s freshly released document, “Media Transformation, Ownership and Diversity” is the party’s refreshing admission that it loathes criticism.
But to get to the honesty you first have to negotiate the doublespeak. The invention of the term “doublespeak” has been wrongly attributed to George Orwell. But Orwell did invent the notion of “doublethink”.
Here’s the sentence in which it first made an appearance: “His mind slid away into the labyrinthine world of doublethink. To know and not to know, to be conscious of complete truthfulness while telling carefully constructed lies, to hold simultaneously two opinions which cancelled out, knowing them to be contradictory and believing in both of them …”
The ANC’s document starts out as a sermon: “All of us have a responsibility to defend media freedom and editorial independence from any form of compulsion, be it political, economic or commercial.”
But the next paragraph starts with the telling qualification, “However”, and it is downhill from there. Sentences such as this appear: “(A) Cursory scan on the print media reveals an astonishing degree of dishonesty, lack of professional integrity and lack of independence.”
And: “The abuse of positions of power, authority and public trust to promote narrow, selfish interests and political agendas inimical to our democracy. This points to the fact that the problem of what is called ‘brown envelope’ journalism. This type of rot is a much more serious problem than the media is willing to admit.”
And the remedy? The “ownership and control” of the media must be addressed. “Freedom of expression needs to be defended but freedom of expression can also be a refuge for journalist scoundrels, to hide mediocrity and glorify truly unprofessional conduct. Freedom of expression means that there should be objective reporting and analysis which is not coloured by prejudice and self-interest.”
The proposal is that a Media Appeals Tribunal be established. Such a tribunal, the ANC is at pains to stress, would be accountable to parliament “instead of the ANC with all its bias and firm views”. It is hard to share the ANC’s faith in the independence of its MPs.
The truth about the media is very different to that which this document offers. The lion’s share of South Africa’s radio and television stations, which the ANC acknowledges reach an audience more than double that of print media, fall under the ambit of the public broadcaster, which some view as all but an official mouthpiece of the ruling party.
South Africa’s press is robust, highly competitive and diverse and, in the case of this newspaper’s owners, Avusa, has a strong empowerment shareholding.
But that’s not good enough. The ANC wants the mirror to say it is the fairest in the land, every hour, every day.
Proposed media pledge of allegiance
A sad, tearful goodbye to Essop Pahad
Mbeki: Journalists should not be jailed
Without satirists like Zapiro, we are not free
The year of publishing dangerously
July 31, 2010 at 7:41 pm
Zapiro once made a great cartoon of PW dressed up as “The emporer with no clothes”…a very incisive take on the times of those days. What a great tale to base a political cartoon on!!
Now which story could depict this new development from the ruling party…?
I await with bated breath…and search my garage for old fairy tale books.
Im am looking forward to zapiro’s next cartoon masterpiece!
Times Live - Ray Hartley
Comments by Sonny
The ANC uses Communist Rhetoric to pacify the SA public and opposition!
The ANC is intent on Muzzling the Media!