News/Politics

Media-ting the debate: What is the role of responsible media?

By Dylan Stewart The media plays a powerful role in driving public opinion, however media companies depend on the public’s readership for the income that will keep it in business. A responsible media needs to masterfully strike a fine balance to maintain its integrity and its consumer base. This is an article responding to the…

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My name is Tim, I’m a racist and I’m running for president

A non-practising one. Probably best to make that clear right up front. “You cannot teach a racist to change,” says Rusty Bedsprings on an online forum, “you can only show him that his bigotry holds no power”. Wrong. You can and it does, big time. This is the whole point: Racism has South Africa by…

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The stifling death grip of a dysfunctional bureaucracy

There is rarely spontaneous public applause for the efficiency and responsiveness of state entities. As well as almost limitless access to taxpayer funds, the impunity that assured employment affords, makes for public servant arrogance, sloth and waste. Combine these corrosive institutional traits with an African National Congress government that believes it has a God-ordained mandate…

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Let’s blame poor African leadership for Mandarin in our schools

By Sandiso Bazana Reading the Times Live article about the introduction of Mandarin in South African schools made me question the vision that African leaders have of Africa and whether they see Africa prospering on its own — have they given up on the ideal once proclaimed by leaders such as Dr Kwame Nkrumah, Léopold…

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The poor economy is not all Zuma’s fault

Some lessons I have learned from reporting on economic crises: * Don’t fixate on any one cause. Economies are complex webs of interrelated phenomena. Interest-rate changes are not the whim of the central bank, ie the Reserve Bank. They depend on a range of other economic actors, including our government and other economies in the…

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Phiyega explains ‘eat your heart out’ reference

Embattled police commissioner Riah Phiyega has come forward to explain the “eat your heart out” reference made in an SMS sent to DA MP Dianne Kohler-Barnard. Speaking via SMS, SA’s top cop said she heard the saying during a “Nigella show” and thought it would be applicable. She went on to explain the entire SMS…

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Lest we forget: What Marikana means to me

Your blood asks, how were the wealthy and the law interwoven? With what sulphurous iron fabric? How did the poor keep falling into the tribunals?   How did the land become so bitter for poor children, harshly nourished on stone and grief? So it was, and so I leave it written. Their lives wrote it…

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A prodigious task facing the humanities: The creation of a new vocabulary

How does one articulate and make sense of the momentous changes that have taken place in the last three decades or so across the world, and that have not nearly run their course, if the existing vocabulary in the humanities is rapidly being unmasked as belonging to a different conceptual dispensation or “paradigm” – one…

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SA journalism: No agenda required

Newspaper editors aren’t much given to introspection. Whatever their political hue, they tend to have a virtually unshakeable belief that their particular interpretation of reality is the correct one. It of course makes for spectacular miscalculations, such as when Peter Bruce, then Financial Mail editor, in 1999 urged voters to support the fledgling United Democratic…

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This black life matters

Michael Brown was killed a year ago. They used to say, “It’s been a long, hot summer” but it’s been another long, hot, horror-filled year in the US; every single day another Michael Brown. This is someone I know. In high school, Kadeem was a force in the middle of the field. He owned his…

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