Anton Harber looks back on damage caused by sensationalism in 'Behind the Headlines'
Newspaper veteran and journalism lecturer Anton Harber has written a cautionary book for the media in which he dissects past mistakes made by the 'Sunday Times'. In this extract from So, For The Record: Behind the Headlines in an Era of State Capture, he looks back on the damage caused by sensationalism
Love affair rocks SARS was the Sunday Times headline on 10 August 2014. “An ill-advised tryst gone sour has turned the heat on [South African Revenue Service] enforcement head Johann van Loggerenberg,” the article said. His relationship with Belinda Walter, described as “a Pretoria-based tobacco lawyer”, had “ended acrimoniously and the sensational accusations emerging in the fallout appear to have sparked inquiries from the Hawks crime-fighting unit, state intelligence and the police”.
That was one way to tell the story...