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‘SA media in urgent need of transformation’

The ANC proposes that Parliament oversee the establishment of a media appeals tribunal.

FILE: ANC policy head Jeff Radebe at the party's NGC. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

CAPE TOWN - The African National Congress (ANC) says South Africa urgently needs media transformation and Parliament should complete a feasibility study on the establishment of a media appeals tribunal as soon as possible.

The state of South Africa's media came into sharp focus at the party's National General Council (NGC).

The proposal was endorsed as a resolution of the NGC and presented to the public by head of policy Jeff Radebe.

"We reaffirm the urgent need for media transformation, accountability and diversity. This includes the parliamentary inquiry on the feasibility and desirability of a media appeals tribunal in line with the Constitution."

The NGC is a mid-year policy review conducted by the party between conferences.

On Sunday night, the NGC wrapped up with a closing address by President Jacob Zuma after three days of debates on the state of the party and its performance in government.

EARLY DAY RESISTANCE

Plans by the ANC to continue with an earlier resolution to ask parliament to explore setting up a media appeals tribunal are already running into opposition, with Media Monitoring Africa saying the plan simply won't work.

"We are saying we want to deal with the negative narrative. We think that part of how we can do it is by this issue of media tribunal."

But Media Monitoring Africa's William Bird says it's the wrong approach.

"This thing that some sort of 'after the fact' punishment is going to improve the media, that's just not true."

The ANC first made this resolution in Polokwane nearly eight years ago.