Johannesburg - Editors should start taking responsibility for what their newsrooms publish, the African National Congress Youth League said on Friday.
The ANCYL was commenting on a cartoon published by Eyewitness News.
“The cartoonist highlights the radicalism that reigns in the minds of the liberal newsrooms supported by pseudo-political analysts,” spokesman Bandile Masuku said.
The cartoon, by Dr Jack & Curtis, titled “Congress of Clowns. And the clowns who voted them in”, was posted on EWN's website. It depicts newly appointed ministers as clowns with big red noses. On the side is another group of clowns, representing voters, who stand and watch, accompanied by a description reading “we the poephols”.
The ANCYL said the South African National Editors' Forum should help its members embrace democracy, non-racialism and non-sexism.
Masuku said the ANCYL could not change the minds of the “racist few who dominate opinion-making space”.
“Thus we appeal to the general public, the young people in particular, to never listen or take the likes of Curtis, Zapiro, and Helen Zille serious.”
Masuku urged the public to remain peaceful and not to allow racist provocation to divide the nation.
EWN said in a statement on its website that an apology had been issued and the cartoon removed.
“We at EWN apologise for any unintended offence caused. We at EWN will continue to strive for free speech and editorial independence,” it said. - Sapa