The National Press Club has noted with concern the CEO of Government Communication and Information Services, Jimmy Manyi’s latest dig leveled at the media, accusing it of being “hostile towards government”.
In a statement released in Pretoria, press club General Manager Ben Rootman said: “Jimmy Manyi’s comments are most worrying. His suggestion that the media is conspiring to criticise government is not only disingenuous, but ridiculous. The media fraternity is extremely concerned about Manyi’s hostility.”
Last week, Manyi met a delegation from the South African National Editors’ Forum (SANEF). According to SANEF the meeting deadlocked, a claim which Manyi denies. In an interview with John Robbie on Talk Radio 702 today, Manyi denied that the meeting had deadlocked.
SANEF member and press club chairman, Yusuf Abramjee, called in to say he was part of the meeting and that it had in fact “deadlocked.”
Rootman says the press club has always been open to robust discussion, referring to a recent call by Abramjee on government and the media to sit around the table and “find each other”.
“We don’t have to agree on everything, but we can agree on something,” Abramjee said at the time.
“Manyi’s frequent attacks on the media are getting out of hand and not conducive to efforts towards finding common ground and nurturing better relations between government and the media fraternity. Government needs to intervene at the highest level to remedy the situation,” said Rootman.