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Menings | Opinion > SeminaarKamer | Seminar Room > English > Mini-seminars

Media gag or media power?

Chrisna du Plessis - 2010-12-01

I too am appalled at the proposed legislation and the roughshod manner in which the ruling party treats basic freedoms, the zeal with which they protect the interests of the party elite at the expense of the man in the street, and the utter arrogance of those in power that is matched only by their incompetence. We can all point out rationally that the proposed legislation flies in the face of everything the Constitution and the Freedom Charter stand for, but the ANC has long ago lost its capacity for reason.
So instead of protesting to deaf ears, I suggest the media take its power back. I propose that for the three months leading up to next year's municipal elections all media (print, TV, radio) ignore the existence of the ANC and the ANC Youth League. Instead, they can fill valuable column space and airtime with stories of delivery failure and opposition party successes. Instead of hammering or ridiculing the DA, as is the current trend, give them a boost. I am not a member of the DA (or any political party, for that matter), but a strong democracy requires a strong opposition; the DA is the only remotely viable candidate and the media can help them to restore some balance of power. Politics is all about propaganda, as the ANC knows very well, and they have made ruthless use of the media to drum up support. So cut their access to airtime and give it to someone else. And if the party want to take out full-page advertisements, I am sure that a fund of concerned citizens can buy up the advertising space for those three months so that there is simply nothing available. And if the SABC insists on airing their ramblings, switch off your set when the politicos come on. Vote with the remote! Or send in SMS “boos” when they are on a talk show. Time to show a little civil disrespect.
We can sit and complain and watch the train rushing closer, or we can think laterally and past old loyalties to come up with a creative solution. But protesting and petitions won't make one iota of difference. We have to hit them where it hurts.


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