SA’s Media: Fools or ANC mouthpiece?

2015-10-14 19:43

The ANC may be incapable of governing this country effectively, but man can they seduce fools with verbal garbage. The Machiavellians out there must admire the devious way they use language as a political instrument. They explained, at their gig in Midrand over the weekend, that their loss of members from 1 million (2012) to 769,000 (2014) was caused by ‘factional gatekeeping’, ‘new tendencies’ by ‘kingmakers’ ‘hunger for power’ on the ‘voting fodders’. Now, whether you listened to talk radio – which is more like jingle-jingle-talk-jingle-jingle radio – read the ‘news’ in print or online, watched the ‘news’ on television, or listened to your stupid friend’s rendition, this garbage was the jarring spiel being injected into your mind.

Experts in human behavior generally claim loss of members is caused by dissatisfaction. Simply put, members are not happy so they leave. The private sector refers to these losses as customer attrition or defection rates. They constantly monitor and manage these rates to proactively minimize losses. At a well managed company, the executive responsible for customer growth and retention would be fired if losses were as high as 23% (231 000). He would have great difficulty convincing the no nonsense CEO that member losses were caused by ‘factional gatekeepers’. Shareholders would have such a CEO removed. In the ANC though, the CEO and his executives have managed to keep their jobs. Remember the ANC has not experienced a slowdown in membership growth but major losses. In a democracy, such high levels of member dissatisfaction and losses should be a turning point story - a scoop.

Now, to our friends in the media - especially the intrepid journalists, who should detect these scoops and inform citizens – how is it possible that their headlines did not read ‘Major decline in ANC memberships’, ‘ANC loses big chunk of members’, or ‘Many ANC members quit party’? Why have they not spoken to those dissatisfied members who left? Why do they simply accept the ANC term ‘factional gatekeeping’? Why is it that they did not investigate, analyse, reconceptualise and translate all the useless jargon into simple, precise, clear and meaningful language?

It is clear that ANC executives, at least when it comes to propaganda, are not fools. They have managed to downplay their major membership losses and even turn it into an opportunity. It does beg the question: Are journalists fools or the mouthpiece of the ANC? It seems to me that our media are ANC biased and are complicit in the ANC's game of concealment. While I am at it, I should add they seem to be fools as well - the kind of fools who are enamored by verbal garbage. A minority of citizens will need to sharpen their critical thinking to recognize the growing bias in the news. As for the majority, well like our media, they never stood a chance.

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