Join debate, ANC tells media

2010-07-30 09:02

Johannesburg - Instead of acting defensively, newspaper editors should join the ruling party's debate on setting up a media tribunal, ANC secretary-general Gwede Mantashe said in a report in The Star on Friday.

"Our invitation is that the media must engage in that debate constructively, throw around ideas and not defend its own turf.

"The fact that editors and columns in the newspapers are on the defensive is not going to stop us from having that discussion.

"It's up to them if they want to contribute to that debate, and actually to influence it," Mantashe said.

"It is up to them, if they think they are on the defensive and must take a laager approach to that discussion, they are doing that at their own peril."

The ANC wants an independent statutory body accountable to Parliament to deal with complaints against the media, instead of only using the Press Ombudsman who currently deals with complaints.