/ 31 May 2011

Print shows bias in coverage of elections, says Craven

Print media coverage of the recent local government elections was mostly biased, the Congress of South African Trade Unions contended on Tuesday.

“The common thread that runs through the post election reporting and analysis is that: (i) the DA has made inroads into the ANC’s “black vote”, (ii) the increase of the DA’s share of the black vote means that South Africans are becoming more mature in terms of their voting patterns and choosing to vote for the DA out of rationality,” Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven said in a statement.

“This by implication means that black, particularly African voters, have begun to see beyond skin pigmentation and national liberation symbolism, and are now voting for a party that will deliver ‘better’ services to them.”

Craven said print media sought to perpetuate the view that the only viable non-racialism was one that was as far from the national liberation movement as possible.

“The non-racial myth purported by the Democratic Alliance (DA) is a lie and the media has thus far failed to expose this.”

Reports “grossly exaggerated” the ANC’s electoral decline by implying that blacks were only mature if they voted for the DA. This had some racist undertones, he said. An analysis of news reports indicated they sought to suggest African support for the ANC was mere sentiment.

“This portrayal of African people as nostalgic beings who merely give their votes to the ANC for the sake of history is racism of the worst order,” Craven said. — Sapa