IN AN editorial published on IOL today, Iqbal Survé CEO of the Independent Media Group, a group with 9 daily newspapers, 10 Weekend Newspapers and 2 financial papers, doesn’t seem to get that the role of newspapers is to reflect back the diversity of opinion in the country.
Instead he seeks to cast his hopelessly conservative brand based upon prohibition rather than permission, as a ‘progressive’ voice ‘pitted against “a morass of anti-progressive Fourth Estate propaganda machines operating in this country, apparently bent on preventing true freedom of speech.”
In order to substantiate his argument, he then goes on to attack the online Daily Maverick without any evidence, for apparently being funded “by the Oppenheimers and other well-placed businessmen and families” and the Mail and Guardian, a niche weekly, for being ‘funded primarily by overseas backers who themselves have certain political interests’.
Significantly, he avoids the implications of a massive cartel within the daily news (print, television and radio) whose ultimate control is assuredly, a company known as Rupert Bellegings Pty Ltd.
Survé further fails to note that INM is itself, funded by our own government investment arm, the PIC and also organs of the Chinese government. He fails to explain what steps he has taken to defend ‘freedom of speech” in particular on issues related, to Tibet, Taiwan, Myanmar, and the Uyghurs, a Moslem minority in China. And closer to home, on issues related to divergences of culture, religion, politics and opinion.
An example would be the LGBT community, which following the takeover of INM by Survé, appears to have been rendered invisible.
Or the Jewish community, a sizeable minority, which is no longer granted the same status as other, more favoured groups.
In 2007 the ANC banned the Dalai Lama.
I therefore challenge Survé to demonstrate how his newspapers are in any way independent and ‘progressive’, other than their slavish subservience to the prescient political party of the day.
A news media which censors on the basis of ones purported political and cultural affiliations, whether proven or not, is not a progressive media. Rather, such organs are more in keeping with the Soviet era and its Pravda news agency.