Publish and be damned, as the old saying goes. For too long South Africa’s press have been allowed to print lies and get away with not telling the truth. The two rulings on “anonymous sources” by the Press Ombudsman may help to save the reputation of the mainstream media, but it does absolutely nothing to quell suspicion that print media lies and often gets away with it.
I can name the names of professional liars at Media24 and the Independent Group. In fact I have evidence which will not see the light of day, because the media insist the rules only apply to the rich. If you have wealth and money in South Africa, you can apply to the Press Ombud for a ruling. If you are poor and do not have the luxury of legal representation, then don’t bother making a submission.
This is the fate of those who raise the ire of the people in charge — the hoodlums who have forgotten why the press is what it is — who essentially make their money out of the politics of influence and affluence.
The corruption does not stop with diversification into the advertising and public relations industry, nor does it end with deals made with the petrochemical and property giants.
The rot at Independent and Media24, ironically two media houses to escape the wrath of the Ombud, is pretty serious.
Journalists are getting gagged by the very same people who proclaim to hold up the ideals of press freedom.
People are being frauded by the very same people who claim to expose fraud in high office.
South Africa’s press is corrupt and needs to clean its own house.
It can start by firing reporters who concoct and fabricate news. It can clean-up by demonopolising and removing coporate interests that present clear conflicts of interest.
If it cannot, then the Media deserves to be regulated, if only to save it from itself.