Guy Berger

A Truth Commission for SA’s journalism education?

Over ten years ago, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) convened hearings into the role of the media in relation to the gross violation of human rights that happened under apartheid. But one sector that seemed to escape the TRC’s attention was that of higher education, except for a section in its final report titled:…

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Right-wing Zapiro, or a guy who gets it right?

The country’s visual conscience corrected his balance with his revised cartoon on Sunday that switched the Jacob Zuma rape of justice image, with members of the Thabo Mbeki camp. Both, according to his accompanying caption, are valid. I analysed this development for the Daily Dispatch as regards his basic message. Which is: South Africa needs…

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A scenario for the SABC

The SABC’s board of directors is on its way out, but later rather than sooner. And what happens then? Those wanting them out don’t seem to have given enough thought to this. This conclusion emerges from current discussions in Parliament about a legal amendment that would force President Thabo Mbeki to fire the board. To…

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Party HQ shouldn’t call shots on SABC — Mathews Phosa

Intervention by ANC headquarters to change Parliament’s nominees for the SABC board last year was not only “going too far”, it was actually “corrupt”. This strong assessment comes from ANC treasurer general Mathews Phosa, speaking to the South African National Editors’ Forum in Johannesburg on Saturday. It should be up to Parliament to resolve who…

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Journalists: uber–contributors in an age of social networks

Dan Pacheco Social networking is a headache to the mass media because it sets up thousands of niches, demographics and interests. But luckily, says Dan Pacheco, people themselves contribute to creating such niche–related content. In a twist to Marshall McLuhan’s famous “media are the message”, he declared: “The people are the content.” However, “your staff…

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Towards a “world free speech day”

No one could disagree with a global day dedicated to “press” freedom, as marked around the world on Saturday 3 May. Under the auspices of UNESCO, and as agreed by the UN General Assembly a decade or so ago, the 3 May every year is “World Press Freedom Day”. An important cause, but the very…

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A year of media freedom violations

Kaitira Kandjii. Some Southern African journalists spend more time in the courtroom than in the newsroom, according to Kaitira Kandjii, director of the Media Institute of Southern Africa (Misa). He referred to a flood of defamation cases, including five against the Times of Swaziland. “One Malawian journalist has over 30 pending legal cases.” But Kandjii…

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Wanted: $136 million to grow African media

Media movers meeting in Maputo: Amadou Ba (All Africa.com), Prof Fackson Banda (Rhodes University), and Eric Chinje (World Bank). Three years of work came to part fruition in Maputo this week, when some 50 media enthusiasts concretised research into a proposed institution, a project focus and a pretty big budget. People like Ba, Banda and…

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Skewering stereotypes about child support grants

Sunday’s City Press saw a column by deputy editor Lizeka Mda who repeated her standing antipathy to government grants for child support. In the past, she’s argued that if her tax money is encouraging girls to have babies, at least they should be required to present school certificates when the children are old enough to…

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Interviewing Mr MK in 1991

Lest anyone forget how South Africa nearly exploded when Chris Hani was assassinated, here are some front pages of the paper I edited at the time: Missing, however, is the wonderful full cover from South of Hani standing outside Parliament in 1992, with the headline “Next year we rule from within this place”. Democracy was,…

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