Posted inBusinessNews/Politics

Private healthcare’s ‘super’ profits

No. of comments: 22

People often accuse journalists of profiting from the misfortune of others. So do private hospitals, except they do much better. According to Business Day, the Hospital Association of South Africa, which represents the private hospital industry, is stepping up its campaign to convince the government not to regulate private hospital fees. It is arguing that […]

Posted inBusinessMediaNews/Politics

The paranoid Mr Zuma

No. of comments: 14

Daniel Gross, financial columnist for online magazine Slate, bumped into Jacob Zuma at Davos this week and nominated him as “the world leader with the most aggressive bodyguards“. It seems that Mr Zuma’s paranoia is not limited to the remote possibility of being molested in the Swiss Alps. He also believes the media in his […]

Posted inLifestyleMediaNews/Politics

The Christian fundamentalist lynch mob is at it again

No. of comments: 64

Having tasted victory against Tim du Plessis and Rapport, Christian fundamentalists have set their sights on a fresh target. According to Jacques Liebenberg in Beeld, a campaign is under way to organise a boycott of the film The Golden Compass, due to be released in South Africa on Friday. According to an anonymous message distributed […]

Posted inBusinessMedia

Johncom may have a winner in the Times

No. of comments: 3

Johncom, soon to be renamed Avusa, has for the first time released details about the cost of its two new print titles, the Weekender and the Times. The company spent R33-million from April to September improving its online offerings and launching the two new titles, CEO Prakash Desai said during the company’s interim results announcement […]

Posted inBusinessMediaNews/Politics

The devil made Tim do it

No. of comments: 64

Rapport editor Tim du Plessis has given us a new version of Voltaire’s famous defence of free speech: “I don’t agree with what you say, but I’ll defend your right to say it, unless it harms my employer’s commercial interests, in which case I’ll shut you up quicker than you can say ‘editorial independence’.” Du […]

Posted inBusinessLifestyleMedia

Get me a fake Springbok jersey!

No. of comments: 6

Canterbury, the Springbok kit sponsor, is complaining that “counterfeit” goods are damaging its business and could lead to job losses. What hogwash! Canterbury’s argument, a familiar complaint by branded-goods manufacturers, is based on a false assumption: that people would buy the “official” goods if alternatives — the far cheaper “fakes” — were not available. For […]

Posted inMediaNews/Politics

Another day, another journalist (or two) jailed

No. of comments: 0

Two senior journalists have been arrested for leaking information about a criminal investigation into the alleged unlawful publication of a government official’s home address. Zimbabwe? South Africa? United States, actually. Jim Larkin and Michael Lacey of the Phoenix New Times were jailed last week when they revealed that they had been subpoenaed by a grand […]

Posted inGeneralMediaNews/Politics

Newspapers without government … How about that, Mr President?

No. of comments: 1

Thomas Jefferson, third president of the United States of America, once famously said: “Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.” That was before he became president. After he’d experienced a taste of […]

Posted inNews/Politics

What’s in a name?

No. of comments: 58

Grahamstown, the city which I call home, is in danger of losing its name. This has been in the pipeline for some time, but the whole thing flared up again when President Mbeki called Colonel John Graham, after whom the town is named, a butcher; and the excellent local newspaper Grocott’s Mail has been running […]

Posted inMediaNews/Politics

You didn’t get this from me …

No. of comments: 7

Al Neuharth, the founder of USA Today, the United States’s largest newspaper, once remarked that “anonymous sources are the root of all evil in journalism”. That may have been an overstatement, but not by much. In many cases, journalists can’t do their jobs without using anonymous sources; often, however, they are simply an excuse for […]