Journalists should do some self-reflection

Posted 22 October 2018

The Sunday Times has apologised for running a series of bogus stories that were fed the newspaper by agents of state capture. Among them, the “rogue investigative unit” at SA Revenue Services, the “hit squad” in Kwazulu-Natal, and the rendition of suspects to Zimbabwe at the behest of that country’s security forces. None of these were true, but they had real consequences to the lives of the people who lost their jobs, careers and livelihoods as a result. Writing in The Conversation, Herman Wasserman says this is a time for self-reflection by journalists.

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Wall Street Journal calls Cyril an imitation of Robert Mugabe

Posted 07 August 2018

SA is being blasted by the foreign press. The New York Times climbed into deputy president David Mabuza, former provincial leader in Mpumalanga, for the sad state in which he left the province's public services. According to current and former ANC officials, he siphoned off money from schools and other public services to buy loyalty and amass enormous power, making him impossible to ignore on the national stage and putting him in position to shape South Africa for years to come. The Times wonders how well this sits with President Cyril Ramaphosa's campaign to end corruption?

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Jacques Pauw doubles down on accusations against Malema

Posted 07 July 2018

EFF leader Julius Malema wants an apology from author and journalist Jacques Pauw for his alleged ties to people in the criminal underworld. No I won't apologise, says Pauw. In fact, he has doubled down on his accusations, as this posting on his Facebook page shows.

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SA editors launch defamation campaign against now defunct Bell Pottinger in UK

Posted 21 May 2018

Three prominent South African editors have lodged a defamation claim against AIG Europe, the insurer for now defunct Bell Pottinger, over the fallen UK media relations giant’s role in the so-called “white monopoly capital” media campaign.

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The rise of fake news under the ANC government

Posted 09 January 2018

South Africans are being fed a buffet of fake news on which to dine, from Bell Pottinger's fake "white minority capital" slurs to what looks like a fabricated 1963 article reproduced more recently in The Star eulogising the rise of a 21 year-old Jacob Zuma. Ed Herbst, writing in Biznews, explains.

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SABC's attempt to charge license fees on your cell phones and laptops must be stopped

Posted 12 May 2017

This is how you end up thinking when you have been too long in a state-owned enterprise. The SA Broadcasting Corporation, faced with plummeting revenue, has proposed that it be allowed to charge license fees on all viewing devices, including your laptop, cell phone and tablet. This absurdity - from a corporation drowning in corruption and incompetence - must be stopped.

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Columnists are a useless breed

Posted 26 March 2017

Columnists are the rodent class of journalism. They tell their readers things they already believe. They are expected to take an ideological position and never stray from this. They end up spewing unoriginal, predictable and only mildly controversial ideas.  

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Helen Zille on fake news versus truth

Posted 16 March 2017

“Speaking truth to power” is how many journalists describe their role in society. It’s a bold claim and serves a clear purpose: to occupy the moral high ground, especially in relation to politicians who are often depicted as bottom-feeders in the algae of political pond-slime. Helen Zille examines the state of the news business.

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From Trump to Malema, media bias is exposed for all to see

Posted 16 November 2016

Donald Trump's election to the presidency in the US, despite an unrelenting media campaign against him, has exposed the shameful bias of the mainstream. The same bias is visible in SA, when few in the media are willing to challenge employment equity laws for fear of being labelled "racist". Or Julius Malema's insane calls for violence against whites. Or government's disastrous national democratic revolution that has brought the economy to a standstill. Where are the investigative journalists challenging this madness?

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How the media beats the drum for war

Posted 01 September 2016

John Pilger makes a case for indicting journalists on war crimes. From the Guardian to the New York Times, anti-Russian propaganda is at fever pitch. Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton calls Russian president Vladimir Putin the "new Hitler" and she surrounds herself with cold war warriors baying for a confrontation with Russia. Twenty years after the Yugoslav bombing authorised during Bill Clinton's presidency, egged on with cartoonish propaganda from the Western media, a stunning revelation made barely a mention in the esteemed journals that so shrilly called for blood. A report issued this year exonerated former Serbian president, Slobodan Milosevic, who died in 2006, of the war crimes of which he was charged. Most likely, you will not have heard of this. All the more reason to hold accountable the journalists who promote and justify wars now raging from Iraq to Syria.

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The wrecking ball that the SABC has become

Posted 19 July 2016

Eight journalists have reportedly been fired by the SABC. This is a further sign of the deradation at the state-owned broadcaster, which is more and more looking like a State broadcaster along the lines of Zimbabwe or North Korea. The Institute of Race Relations looks at what is going on behind the scenes at the SABC board, which lies at the centre of this mess.

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Happy, patriotic news is now official govt policy

Posted 23 October 2015

SA's press is becoming more lapdog than bulldog. The SABC wants 70% "happy, patriotic" news and the government is using its financial clout to muscle in on other areas of the media, as this article from The Economist makes clear.

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Print media circulation plunges

Posted 26 March 2015

The latest Audited Bureau of Circulation (ABC) figures make for disconcerting reading. Only two significant titles show growth: Soccer Laduma and The Post. For the rest, the "news" ain't what it used to be. Based on these figures, some of our most cherished publications may not be around in a few years.

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German readers desert mainstream media over skewed reporting on Russia

Posted 11 November 2014

German readers are deserting the mainstream media over the skewed reporting on Russia. It's not a gradual decline, but a wholesale plunge, as this article explains. But it all started when a German editor brought out a book detailing how German publications have been bought off by the CIA. 

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Spreading panic about non-existent threats

Posted 04 July 2014

The list of catastrophic events confronting us seems to grow by the day. Bird flu, Islamic terrorists, Y2K, killer fruit juice. No-one seems to call the fear-mongers propagating these scare stories to account for their miserable track record in predicting the end times, according to Simon Jenkins in the Guardian.

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The war between sunshine and authentic investigative journalism

Posted 05 September 2013

There is a war going on between sunshine and authentic investigative journalism, says Anton Harber. Carrying the flag for the ruling party are the new ANN7 channel, The New Age Newspaper, and now Independent Newspapers, following its acquisition by Sekunjalo.  

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