Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The Racist Tweet by Talk Radio 702 Raises Questions About the Institutionalised Attitudes of Corporate Commercial Media and the Primedia Newsroom Culture
The Congress of South African Trade Unions expresses deep disapproval of the racist tweet by Talk Radio station 702 that compared black kids with dogs. We also decline and reject their half hearted apology. Their radio station CEO Omar Essack is treating this matter as public relations problem instead of dealing with the underlying issues that this tweet raises.

The federation is calling on the sponsors of the 702 Walk the Talk event and advertisers in the radio station to take a stand against racism as represented by this tweet.

For us as a federation of workers that represent the most exploited workers; this is not a just a breach of taste and a public relations gaffe as Talk Radio 702 seems to think. Everyday thousands of poor black man and women are forced to eke out a living as domestic workers and on many occasions they are forced to walk the dogs of mostly white people, so that they can feed and clothe their families.

This unfortunate comparison is both demeaning and insulting to those workers and the black people in general.

For an organisation that likes to pontificate about defending freedom and the Constitution; this tweet exposes the troubling newsroom culture and institutionalised attitudes that inform their editorial posture.

It is tempting to now conclude that their sometimes demonstrative and histrionic coverage of issues that affect black leaders is not always motivated by noble and innocent motives.

They cannot use staff negligence as their get out clause. They are giving themselves a social licence to offend millions of black people and then are also prepared to throw junior employees under the bus to save themselves. COSATU finds this distasteful and hypocritical.

COSATU argues that this matter cannot just be treated as an unfortunate lapse of common sense but it should be used to answer difficult questions of the South Africa that Radio Talk 702 imagines and represents.

Sizwe Pamla (Cosatu National Spokesperson)

Tel: 011 339 4911
Fax: 011 339 5080
Cell: 060 975 6794

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