Local newspapers too quick to print all kinds of rubbish

01 September 2009 - 16:40 By unknown

COSATU'S national spokesman, Patrick Craven (Judgment day for the media, September 18), raises a very interesting and pertinent debating point.

COSATU'S national spokesman, Patrick Craven (Judgment day for the media, September 18), raises a very interesting and pertinent debating point.

At the outset, I state quite unequivocally that I support his entire argument regarding the lapdog nature of most of South Africa's media, with their shameless tendency to rush into print and sensationalise what can best be described as rubbish.

I have never bought the scandalous stories peddled by the National Prosecuting Authority and its armed force, the Scorpions.

As far as I recall, I must be the only journalist who never swallowed the defamatory rubbish purporting that ANC president Jacob Zuma was a "rapist", and I remember being pilloried even by people one would have expected to have a little knowledge of the craft.

The malaise goes much deeper; the average South African newsroom is peopled by juniors led by inexperienced "mentors" and bosses. In such a scenario, is it surprising that journalism in this country is headed for the scrapheap?

One remembers the days, not so long ago, when newspapers boasted the likes of Harvey Tyson, Joe Tlholoe, Rex Gibson, Maud Motanyane, Ron Anderson, Jean Waite, Ken Owen, Viv Linington, John Pitts, Joe Latakgomo, Benjamin Pogrund, Aggrey Klaaste, Marika Sboros, Rina Minervini and many other brilliant people who regarded it as their duty to train and help the youngsters.

Alas! Nowadays we just have to contend with rubbish, and it is not surprising that we have "journalists" of the sort we now endure - people who are most willing to be manipulated in return for dubious and badly reasearched "scoops" as well as meaningless press releases.

The problem will only get worse because there is not a sign anywhere that the media and their shareholders/owners are interested in remedying this calamitous status quo. - Jon Qwelane, Dawn Park

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