ANC again lashes out at media
Johannesburg - The ANC again criticised the media on Monday over its coverage of the 2011 local government election.
"For a big part of this campaign, we had to swim against the media," ANC secretary general Gwede Mantashe said at a meeting with political journalists and editors.
The meeting was called to discuss the party's 2011 election campaign, but was dominated by debate over the media's coverage of the ANC ahead of the May 18 polls.
‘Analysis couched as fact’
Mantashe said that for much of the campaign, the ANC had had to "rise" against the media.
He said journalists in the print media "couched analysis as facts". The electronic media repeatedly showed negative images, without mentioning the positives.
"You stage-manage the message that comes out on electronic media," Mantashe said.
Journalists raised their own concerns, saying the ANC needed to manage its communication better.
Mantashe responded that if the ANC tried to manage the media better, the media would "cry control".
Tampering with messages
Citing editorials in two newspapers, which Mantashe did not name, he said they either "viciously" attacked the ANC or said nothing at all about the party.
He also criticised the media for "tampering" with ANC messages, saying the media felt it had a "monopoly of wisdom to know what society wants to hear".
"The media, for God's sake, must not tamper with our messages... give us a blackout rather."
Earlier in the campaign, the ANC questioned the timing of certain stories published in the mainstream press, including reports on a plot by senior ANC members to oust President Jacob Zuma.