Cabinet to meet with media

2011-06-23 17:04

Cape Town - Cabinet ministers will meet with media representatives later this year to get to the root of growing tension between government and the fourth estate, government spokesperson Jimmy Manyi said on Thursday.

"There are planned engagements with media later in the year where Cabinet ministers will come and sit on the one side and media will sit on the other side and we will agree issues of mutual concern," Manyi told Cabinet's regular fortnightly media briefing.

Manyi said ministers wanted to "deal with this thing properly and not superficially" and address "systemic issues".

"I think the sentiment in the Cabinet is that let's really deal with the issues, let's be frank with each other and... not paper over cracks.

"I think it is the sentiment of Cabinet that we need to sit down with each other, look each other in the eye and be honest with each other and say what is it that we need to fix to get this thing right for once and for all."

His remarks come on the eve of a meeting between the South African National Editors' Forum and Planning Minister Collins Chabane, who is responsible for the Government Communication and Information Service, which Manyi has headed since February.

Sanef requested the meeting after Manyi said comments by Mondli Makhanya, the editor-in-chief of Avusa newspapers and chairperson of Sanef, reflected "cartel-like tendencies" within the media.

He lamented a lack of media diversity and said it led to "hostility" towards the government.

Difficult relationship

Manyi has had a difficult relationship with journalists, which took a turn for the worse in recent weeks after he announced the government would centralise its media advertising.

He has dismissed reports interpreting the step as a threat to publications critical of the government as "a fiction".

Manyi insisted on Thursday that tension with the media, which has deepened over the protection of information bill and the ruling party's plans to set up a tribunal to regulate reporting, pre-dated his appointment.

"The issue of the relationship between government and media is an agenda item that predates Jimmy Manyi, so that must be very clear. It is a long-standing agenda item.

"The issue of this relationship goes back many years, many, many years, so Cabinet is saying we need to sit in a room and make sure that the matter is dealt with properly.

"We have to be frank with each other in those discussions and make sure that we come up with a product that is going to advance democracy."

Manyi declined to say whether his comments on the media reflected his personal views or that of Cabinet.

  • sheep - 2011-06-23 17:06

    MAT please. no compromising.

      willieman - 2011-06-23 17:39

      you right no compromise from the media

      crackerr - 2011-06-23 18:03

      Asking for MAT is like unashamedly asking for others to control information and what we are allowed to know. It is a tool used by dictatorships and state officials to hide their evil plans and mistakes from the ordinary man and woman while blaming others for the problems. An honest government does not need to hide behind secrets.

  • Mundu - 2011-06-23 17:14

    What is the truth? You can't handle the truth, Manyi....lets start with getting Zuma to face a court of law to defend his corruption charges and we'll go from there.

  • will294 - 2011-06-23 17:15

    Basically the government would like the media to become a government mouthpiece.

      Bafo - 2011-06-23 23:41

      As usual!

  • JMan - 2011-06-23 17:17

    Ja Moer hulle!!

  • RVQ - 2011-06-23 17:18

    Might have to do with the fact the ANC wants to throw all reporters in prison using the info bill...

  • Protest - 2011-06-23 17:25

    The government needs to appoint someone in Manyi's place whom have the skills to interface with the media without the Myani arrogance and ignorance. The media is made of people. Myani wants puppets and he wants to be the puppeteer. If the people that make up the media refuse to respond to Myani pulling the puppet strings, Myani gets all upset and throws the proverbial tantrum. He demands and deserves no respect. Keeping Myani as the voice of the government is borderline insane. Myani must be the biggest communication failure in the history of the current regime.

  • YasButIDunno - 2011-06-23 17:49

    Great! The fifth column meets the fourth estate! Wonder what the outcome will be. Probably a lot of sabre-rattling by the fifth column.

  • OLIBO - 2011-06-23 17:50

    Manyi - the government has a right to do business with any media house of its choice and does not need to apologize for that. Your mistake is trying to be nice and informing the media about it. As government, how do you continue a relationship with Sundays Times if Mondli allows Zapiro's insulting catoons? It shows that a black man is in a position but definately not in power. I may not like everything that the President and government has done but I still respect the President. It is even worse if the insult comes from a white person, who enjoys the benefits of apartheid.

      ZACommentator - 2011-06-23 18:04

      What an idiot you are

      Jeffrey Jones - 2011-06-23 18:38

      How can you respect Zuma who refuses to face corruption charges against him. He's nothing but a Zulu chief. Disgrace to have him as president of out country.

      Larro - 2011-06-24 06:09

      @OLIBO - it's called freedom of the press. We will be in REAL trouble if the media are gagged.

  • Obama Bin Laden - 2011-06-23 17:53

    Fck the government and the African National Kleptocracy

  • crackerr - 2011-06-23 17:59

    "We have to be frank with each other in those discussions and make sure that we come up with a product that is going to advance democracy." - Manyi _____________________________________________________________________ Well, whatever the solution, just don't include Manyi in the picture. He is clearly not in favour of democracy as the term is generally understood. If he refers to the North Korean variety, then he must of course stay. He is not a natural and that is the cause of some of the unhappiness. He has an irritating effect on others.

  • TamaraSays - 2011-06-23 18:02

    I'd wear kevlar if I were you SANEF reps... but don't worry - there will always be bloggers, online press releases, and other means of telling the truth. They cannot silence the media, no matter how loudly they scream!

  • ZACommentator - 2011-06-23 18:03

    It's simple really, if government did its job as opposed to fraud and corruption and incitement to anti white violence, then the news would report this.

  • sainsaudi - 2011-06-23 18:13

    This ANC government is running scared of the truth. The editors must not sell the Constitution down the river and must stick to their mandate and that is to be free, not partly free. The ANC cannot talk about freedom of any sort if the press is not free. What they need to do is clean up their act and start putting the right people in the right places. South Africa is ruled by a kakistocracy that wants to cover their nefarious deeds by denying press freedom. This is not only an assault of the dignity of South Africans, it's also an assault on the rule of law and good governance. Let's not go back into apartheid once again.

      Bafo - 2011-06-23 23:32

      'kakistocracy'; oh my word; there is word like this I checked it out. Must be created from kaktionary used when parliament sits. I hope the media is not convinced to use it too!

  • maseratifitt - 2011-06-23 18:17

    Media to Government : Let's make a deal. You abandon the PIB and the Media Tribunal. Get rid of Manyi. Then we will help you in your fight against corruption.

  • MrSpiderman - 2011-06-23 18:24

    Thought it was the "third force"? Now the "fourth estate"? OK, tomorrow we can have the sixth generation!!!

      maseratifitt - 2011-06-23 18:32

      The Fourth Estate are skelms of the First Order. They try to live by the Eleventh Commandment. On second thoughts, if Third Degree gets hold of them I will be in Seventh Heaven.

  • MrSpiderman - 2011-06-23 18:32

    Yip, and I am going to have an open TV debate with juju! Next..............?

  • Palian - 2011-06-23 18:39

    Now that our media is being attacked, let the media REALLY say what the score is here.

  • jbjoe - 2011-06-23 20:47

    "I think it is the sentiment of Cabinet that we need to sit down with each other, look each other in the eye and be honest with each other..." lol, i cant read past those last words, can someone please post the rest of the article here for me to read? PLEASE

      Bafo - 2011-06-23 23:28

      I actually found that also really funny, lol! Parliament looking eye - to - eye with media; are they people, lovers, what.....?

  • ilollipop - 2011-06-23 22:17

    The problem is these people don't like answering questions. The number of unanswered questions in parliament are a testament to that. It's all fine when it's about what you had for lunch, but far less friendly when it comes to running off with a R100million or jetting to Switzerland to pomp a jailbird.

  • Bafo - 2011-06-23 23:37

    Jef, what does this discussion have to do with Zuma nad his charges?

  • Bafo - 2011-06-23 23:42

    I guess even the government has a freedom of speech by choosing what can be said in their country. We don't have a country, they do.

  • FatherGoose - 2011-06-24 09:00

    Pesky media, how dare they be critical of the government! More to the point, how dare they be critical of the ANC!

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