Cosatu spokesman Patrick Craven says these media platforms are separate from the ANC’s planned newspaper. “It is not directly related to the ANC but we may collaborate”.R
align=justifyCraven adds that mainstream media coverage generally favours the rich and employers and tries to undermine left wing organisations and trade unions. “The media is very biased with its recent spate of attacks against the union’s (general) secretary (Zwelinzima Vavi). Our main concern is bread and butter issues such as prices, poverty, education and jobs. The media doesn’t cover this and therefore they have failed.R
align=justify”By launching our own newspaper we can counter bad, biased journalism and counter the false accusation that we are obsessed with the (ANC President Jacob) Zuma issue.”R
align=justifyThe newspaper, which will include news aimed at the general public, “is still at a tentative stage”, says Craven, who could not disclose details about the publication’s cost, distribution and funding as “those details have not been finalised yet.”R
align=justifyThe Workers World Media Production, which Cosatu serves as a majority partner, plans to launch a radio station which will focus on “general news from a labour perspective”.R
align=justifyThe director of this independent non-profit organisation, Martin Jansen, says that it will start setting up this radio station next year, with plans to launch in 2010 in Johannesburg and Cape Town.
align=justifyJansen says its major concern is whether ICASA will issue the company with a national licence. “I don’t doubt that we will be given a community licence, but I’m not sure about a national licence.”
align=justifySekgoela Sekgoela, ICASA manager for media and stakeholders liaison, says that at this point one cannot speculate whether the radio station will be awarded a licence.
align=justifyAsked if the radio station will punt the union’s agenda, Jansen says: “Well, yes. Cosatu is relying on us for a decent voice, but we are editorially independent. We are not into one-way propaganda.”R
align=justifyLastly, Cosatu mobile which is already up and running, is a communication platform that allows the federation’s members to receive regular updates, information and press releases. The mobile website sends simple text messages to affiliate members of the union via e-mail. Members can also communicate with each other through this inexpensive offering.R
align=justifyCraven says that this platform will soon be opened to other interested parties, who will be able to register, log on and receive Cosatu information and updates.