Media

On air with Ryan Seacrest

Whenever I drive to or home from work during the week there is nothing I enjoy more than listening to 94.7 Highveld Stereo. It’s great fun because the last thing I need or want to hear at that time is some of you lot waffling on about politics on 702 or one of the other…

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What does your beer say about you?

Do you ever think about what the advertising for the beer you drink says about you? Are you downing the cool beer, the beer for average guys, the working man’s beer, or the beer for metrosexuals? Beer ads have long been an interest of mine. I devoted a chapter of my doctoral thesis to the…

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Free and fee: Making the online news business viable

Stewart Brand, at the first hackers conference in 1984, famously said: On the one hand information wants to be expensive, because it’s so valuable. The right information in the right place just changes your life. On the other hand, information wants to be free, because the cost of getting it out is getting lower and…

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Why SA is the 10th largest Twitter user

The other day I found out that South Africa is the 10th largest Twitter user on the planet. 10th! That’s pretty damn cool. The US is by far the largest in terms of users right now, but we are right up there with the big boys, like the UK and Sweden, and ahead of many…

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Yesterday, a short-lived war broke out between the US and SA

“Irony 101: #thingsdarkiessay is not racist in South Africa — What’s NOT racist in South Africa? Apartheid wasn’t Disneyland.” A virtual war between the United States and South Africa was full-on yesterday, the weapon of choice being Twitter. Unfortunately, the weapon was an American one too. Of course in the bigger scheme of things, even…

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Jissie Joost, how could you?

Jissie Joost, couldn’t you have shocked us all a bit sooner? Like, when I was still completing the sex chapter in my new collection of insults (out soon in a bookshop near you and perfect Christmas gifts for people you don’t really like and can’t think of anything to get them, hint hint). That’s the…

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Malema’s media scapegoat

By Janice Winter Last week saw one of Britain’s biggest media controversies with BNP leader Nick Griffin’s appearance on the BBC’s Question Time. Public debate pivoted on the media’s role in guarding democratic space, with interpretations of this responsibility in contradistinction: on the one hand, the view that by inviting the BNP onto Question Time,…

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Black Wednesday, white lies?

By Janice Winter This month has been a very encouraging one for media freedom in South Africa. Reporters Without Borders released their Press Freedom Index 2009, seeing South Africa rising in rank to position 33 (from 36 last year in 2008 and 43 in 2007), now outranking countries such as France, Spain and Greece. This…

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Sex, lies and advertising

The Advertising Standards Authority has banned an ad by Reckitt Benckiser SA promoting Bosch dishwashers by claiming that dishwashers use less water than hand washing. Why is the ASA singling out Bosch? Advertising on TV is full of wild, inaccurate or deliberately misleading claims. Take the ad for Three Ships. The ad would have us…

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Hey, Zuma, you can’t buy your way out of this one, old chap

Almost from the moment the rag-tag gaggle of erstwhile freedom fighters took over the reins of power — and, boy, did they love that power, like a kid who had just got his driver’s licence and was put behind the wheel of a Ferrari — they realised that, even under someone of the statesmanship and…

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