South Africa’s most controversial blog, often banned but never silenced, Medialternatives provides a fresh and new perspective in a publishing landscape controlled by corporate monopolies.
Publisher: David Robert Lewis is a cognitive dissident, organic intellectual, and activist-at-large. In 2005 he started blogging on the Mail & Guardian’s online blogging platform, but soon found he was being censored. A six month battle to recover material followed after which he moved to WordPress. Thankfully, WordPress are a lot more progressive and liberal than the media in his own country. (see also this post)
“The media has also been known to resort to censorship to protect its commercial viability. In the process, it draws boundaries around public discourse. Rapport’s firing of columnist Deon Maas, after he penned a controversial column, falls into this category. So does Media24’s threatened defamation action against media activist and former employee David Robert Lewis, for criticising the company.” Jane Duncan, Business Day
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PLEASE SUPPORT A REVIEW OF MY CASE BEFORE SOUTH AFRICA’S LABOUR COURT, AN UNFAIR DISCRIMINATION CASE AGAINST A MEDIA CORPORATE. IN WHICH MY LEGAL INSURANCE WAS UNLAWFULLY REPUDIATED AND I WAS DENIED ACCESS TO LEGAL AID.
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David Robert Lewis has worked for South Africa’s struggle press, including South Press, Grassroots and New Nation. All three titles were banned at one time or another. His work has been published in Amandla, Afrol Online, Big Issue, Biophiles, Design Indaba, Edging West, Cape Argus, Cape Times, Hack Bloc, Indymedia, Kagenna, Music Industry Online, Muktware, Top of the Times, Vrye Weekblad.
David Robert Lewis was involved in the student uprisings of 1987 at the University of Cape Town. He holds a bachelors degree in social science and political studies and has co-authored a book on environmental development with Mamphela Ramphele, alongside 26 contributors. While at South Press he exposed the trophy hunting operations of General Magnus Malan in Namibia and Angola, but was later silenced. He is responsible for investigating the link between apartheid and the environment, and the later inclusion of sustainable development in the country’s constitution.
As a technologist and promoter of free and open source software, Lewis was one of the first persons in the country to write about the positive aspects of software piracy. He later became a hacktivist and was involved in the very first mass online protest using the Internet as a weapon. His complaint to Mondo 2000 regarding the use of technology by the apartheid state is legendary.
In 2007 Lewis was thrown out of the 60th World Association of Newspapers Congress for presenting a pamphlet critical of the Independent Group of Newspapers.
In 2013 Lewis became a minority shareholder in Sekunjalo, the publicly-traded entity whose holding company is part of a consortium which has bought the Independent Group.
This work is cited in BLOGGING, JOURNALISM AND THE PUBLIC SPHERE: ASSESSING THE VALUE OF THE ‘BLOGOSPHERE’ AS A NEW FORM OF THE PUBLIC SPHERE. A CASE STUDY OF THE MAIL & GUARDIAN ONLINE’S BLOGMARK A thesis submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of MASTER OF ARTS IN JOURNALISM AND MEDIA STUDIES of RHODES UNIVERSITY by FORTUNE SIBANDA
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