Freedom of Speech a luxury, as editors forget basic precepts of fairness in pursuit of profit.


TWO incidents, both of which involve the loss of the right to reply, bring home the fuzzy nature of ethics and the erosion of press freedom as South Africa’s media becomes increasingly driven by profit, money and power. The Mail & Guardian itself, never one to remain silent on anything, has slipped into condescending snideness at those it does not agree with while denying them the right to respond to various allegations.

The Cape Times, an establishment rag, once owned by South Africans and now the flag-ship paper of the Irish-American conglomrate, Independent News & Media, concurs. The right to respond to an allegation published by the paper is a privilege, not actually a right. Rights are for those who can afford them. In the new South Africa, where mafiosi bosses, drug-lords and the porn industry reigns supreme, rights are a luxury few can afford.

Someone at the Online Mail & Guardian, was besides himself at the thought that the right-wing could be making a comeback via the newspaper which was once the bastion of leftist-progressive politics. This person obviously has too much money to care about issues related to freedom of expression, and since it is rare for the online edition, (itself hosted by Media24), to be sued, nobody is sweating.

Come on — relent, and give us our rights!!!!

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