Media

Who’s watching the watchdogs?

This is an acid test of media integrity, of being brave enough to face the uncompromising truth. Our media, whether online, print, radio or television, have a pathological aversion to candour and transparency about their own behind-the-scenes attitudes, practices and policies. Oh, they love ripping into political parties, other companies, organisations, prominent individuals, sportsmen and…

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Beauty and the beast: How the beauty industry ‘others’ women

  Picture credit: Cozy Wallet   In the wake of the many global revolutionary rumblings over the past few years I have been pondering the prospect of a mass women’s revolt against the male-owned beauty industry that mostly diminishes women to mere objects and creates untold conflict in our psyches. This industry, along with the…

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Understanding the African Renaissance through rap music

This morning I found myself listening to one of my favourite rap albums of all time: Immortal Technique’s Revolutionary Volume 2. One track in particular, The 4th Branch of the Government, captured my mind. While it speaks of the racism of American media and the need of African-Americans to read, I found myself thinking of…

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FHM: When a rape joke trumps the news

By Vincent Clery For a long time I have been sitting on the sidelines of an issue that has really irked me. Like most people I am a poor conscientious objector, I keep my opinions to myself, I cowardly express my grievances in safe, dim-lit places. Bars and dinner parties, the occasional early morning coffee…

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Busker by-law? There is no busker by-law

This started out as an admonishment of Cape Town residents for our tardy outrage and showboat sense of civic responsibility. We turned up in huge numbers, I was going to say, when city law-enforcement officers publicly assaulted and arrested Lunga Goodman Nono, but where were we when the laws and regulations he supposedly fell foul…

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Nailing colours to the mast – you’re either a journalist or a PR

There is an ongoing debate in science journalism — the question of whether you can write science PR for corporates or government and also write science journalism for media houses. If you want some background, here’s an interesting piece in Nature and another blog post. While the IT industry learned about these blurred lines a…

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FHM to blame for corrective rape ‘joke’

Here are some simple rules, people of the world who have jobs. If you work for a food manufacturer, don’t post something about food hygiene. If you work for a media organisation, don’t post something prejudicial. If you work for a woman’s magazine, don’t post something sexist. It’s not brain surgery. Yet, for some people…

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Is #whitegenocide funny if corrective rape isn’t?

Brace yourself. Some of you are not going to like this piece. Possibly quite a few of you. That’s the only predictable thing when it comes to jokes: somebody, somewhere is going to be offended. For years I’ve studied comedy from various angles: academically, from the trenches in the ad industry and as an occasional…

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Finding truth in a culture of secrecy

By Vinayak Bhardwaj The release of the “Nkandla files” reported in last week’s Mail & Guardian was the product of a long battle against a fast-calcifying culture of secrecy in our public bodies. Through bureaucratic delays, misinterpretations of the law and the overuse of “national security” as a basis for non-disclosure, public and private bodies…

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The trouble with Dr Google

Things have been a bit tough of late, the bad economy is starting to bite, and you’re feeling the pressure. To top it all, your body has been acting strangely in ways it never has before. Your muscles twitch in funny areas for hours at a time, you tire easily, and you have fleeting pins…

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