SACP leader Blade Nzimande has accused the South African media industry of being actively opposed to the tripartite alliance and President Jacob Zuma's government, according to a report on Friday.
The Star reported that Nzimande had said almost all media houses refused to acknowledge the ANC's achievements, had unfairly criticised ANC leaders and had resisted transformation.
"The media have thrown away every pretence at fairness and balance," Nzimande said at the SA Communist Party's (SACP) conference of commissars.
"They are not even following their own press code, by the way. I don't know why the ANC has retreated on the issue of a media tribunal."
He accused media organisations Avusa, Independent Newspapers and Media 24 of being unfair, unethical and lacking balance in their reporting, the newspaper reported.
Public broadcaster SABC had joined this "posture" lately, Nzimande said after radio station SAfm read only SMSes calling African National Congress leaders "hooligans", The Star reported.
Nzimande urged party members to rethink their engagements with the media, which he dismissed as part of an anti-Zuma "liberal offensive" that dishonestly decried the leadership crisis in the country as a proxy to call for his removal from office.
The SA National Editors' Forum chairperson Mondli Makhanya rejected Nzimande's accusations as baseless and said they smacked of dictatorial tendencies, according to the report.
SABC spokesperson Kaizer Kganyago also rejected Nzimande's accusations and said the public broadcaster supported all its stakeholders, including the government.
Nzimande also said big media houses were quick to buy small, successful newspapers from private companies in order to undermine media diversity.