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Promote change, he says

By unknown | Oct 04, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Canaan Mdletshe

Canaan Mdletshe

ANC deputy president Jacob Zuma has urged the media to follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and the ANC's first president, John Langalibalele Dube.

Speaking at the Global World HIV-Aids Alliance conference in Richards Bay, KwaZulu-Natal, Zuma lashed out at the media, saying they could learn from people like Gandhi and Dube.

He said both Gandhi and Dube contributed to social change through their publications.

Gandhi was the editor of the Indian Opinion, while Dube or Mafukuzela, as he was affectionately known, was the founder of Ilanga lase Natali newspaper.

"I wish journalists could do the same, so that we can be saved from the media. They should learn what the motive and incentive were that made these two establish the newspapers.

"It was very clean. The purpose was to unite, galvanise unity, share information, report appropriately," he said.

Zuma said the way in which most journalists conduct their business today does not contribute to change and the improvement of people's lives.

This is not the first time that the presidential hopeful has lambasted the media.

Last year when he won the Press Club's Newsmaker of the Year, he said: "Ever since I joined politics, probably since 1963, my relations with the media have been on and off.

"At one time I was a terrorist, at another I was a criminal condemned to Robben Island," he said.

Raymond Louw of the SA National Editors' Forum said Zuma "was comparing apples with pears".

"The two newspapers Zuma refers to were known to have had a political and social agenda, whereas the media of today, including newspapers, have a public interest agenda.

"The simple duty of the media in South Africa today is to act in the public interest," added Louw.


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