Guy Berger

Pilger’s contrasts make him credible

Pic: Pilger with Guy Berger Crusading journo John Pilger confronted some contradictions last week — and came out well on top of them. In Grahamstown to collect an honorary doctorate from Rhodes University, the angry Australian who champions the cause of the global underdog found himself to be quite the celeb. It’s an irony that…

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Mega-crisis in the making?

Things come together, the capitalism system cannot hold. That’s the message from Canadian activist academic Dr Sandra Rein, speaking at a seminar on gender activism at Rhodes University on the weekend. And here we were thinking that our biggest problems are racism, crime, political degeneration and electricity. “We have a global crisis if you look…

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Zuma FBJ briefing: The row should be about secrecy, not race

The Forum of Black Journalists is welcome to choose whoever it likes to attend its meetings. Black, white or blue. It’s a free country. But no journalists, of whatever hue, should be in the business of organising off-the-record briefings with political leaders. Wasn’t anything learnt from the infamous 2003 Bulelani Ngcuka briefing that caused enormous…

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Why is the ANC looking at a media tribunal?

ANC leaders charged with overseeing a probe into a tribunal for the media defended the initiative under interrogation by the country’s editors yesterday. The Jacob Zuma-led ANC confirmed at December’s Polokwane conference a decision by the then Mbeki-dominated organisation last July to investigate whether the current system of press self-regulation should be replaced by a…

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Looking at a loser: Ramaphosa the ‘never-ran’

“Newspapers said I was a dark horse in regard to Polokwane. I object to this — I may be dark, but I’m not a horse.” So said Cyril Ramaphosa last night at the launch of Anthony Butler’s biography of him. Describing himself as a “victim” of the writer, the former ANC secretary general nevertheless complimented…

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Astronomy the answer to Eskom and our injured national pride

No one thought any worse of Californians when that US state plunged into a power crisis a few years back. Yet we South Africans are upset about both our current (or lack thereof!) situation and its effect on our image. The sentiment is that we’ve now been shown up as no different to the “rest…

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JZ killed the weekly newsletter

The Sunday Times has welcomed the fact that Jacob Zuma won’t continue the tradition of a weekly ANC president’s e-comment. The implication being: we no longer have to wade through screeds/screens of high-brow discourse each week. Au contraire — the change means there will be even fewer opportunities to get a handle on JZ’s thinking…

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FM’s dose of succession tabloiditus

Be afraid of the spectre of a President Zuma. Thus blares the Financial Mail on its cover last week. Inside the mag, you might find even more reason to be afraid. It’s an article about the present president, titled “Arms and the man”, written by editor Barney Mthombothi. Indeed, I’m scared. Some may say my…

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Don’t expect political BEEs to sting

It’s temporarily quiet on the Johncom buy-out front. No doubt, though, there’s movement behind the scenes. And the issues certainly have not gone away. The biggest one is the political interest in owning the newspaper stable. No one believes that this interest is purely business-driven, despite protestations to the contrary by Koni Media (with some…

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SA’s press council: Public watchdog or (government) bloodhound?

Government’s constituency is highly irked by recent coverage, said Essop Pahad, Minister in the Presidency, on Thursday. “In the ANC, there are very, very, very strong views about how the media has been dealing with the ANC. There is real anger. The question is whether this will spill over to regulation — the answer is…

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