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

20 September 2020 - 00:00 By Sunday Times

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...

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