New edition of ‘Media Activist Handbook’ released

In an era defined by interconnectedness and information overload, the media wields an unparalleled influence over our lives. It shapes our perspectives, molds public opinion, and shapes the narrative of our collective consciousness. Yet, as the saying goes, “With great power comes great responsibility.” The immense potential of media to foster positive change has never been more apparent. It is in this context that the Media Activist Handbook emerges as a guiding light, illuminating the path towards harnessing the transformative power of media for the betterment of society.

A new edition of the venerable Media Activist Handbook has been released, you can find it on our jump page, or download it directly from Gumroad.

‘Moenie vir jouself dink nie, dink soos ons’

IN THE WAKE of South Africa’s decontextualisation of the events of 7 October 2023, a case which depends upon a tragic chain of dropped narratives and outright denial of reality (No 1941 Farhud, No Holocaust, No UN181, everything ‘All Palestine’), there has been a plethora of news pieces purporting to expose ‘Israeli propaganda’ and even an SABC segment in which guests trot out Jihad-denial.

One piece by Nathan Geffen published by the Vrye Weekblad, is directed at ” Jewish people brought up to believe Israeli propaganda but who are having doubts about what they have been taught.”

While I encourage anyone with any sense of self-worth to engage with the necessary intellectual scrutiny of inherited beliefs and imposed opinions, it is worth noting here that our secular country could have interdicted both parties to the conflict, instead it chose to take up the cudgels of one of the belligerents, whose charter is a genocidal tract promoting ethnic cleansing in the Middle East.

I therefore encourage readers to examine my own secular journey, one which began with similar doubts as Geffen — moved towards an unquestioning adoption of the ‘Anti-Zionist ideologies of organisations such as Fatah’ — before the wheels came off the bus following a racist religious inquisition of my identity in 2010, all documented here. You can find a list of debunked claims here. Please note, secularism is not the absence of religion, but rather ‘the absence of religious rule’.

Geffen asserts: “I too went through a period of doubt before realising I had been taught myths unsupported by evidence, and to apply different standards to Palestinians and Israeli Jews in order to ignore uncomfortable facts. I hope this will help others come to the same realisation.”

The problem with these all-to-familiar counter-factual fables (repudiated cant which once flowed easily from my own lips) is that they too involve a set of adopted ideas and unproven imperatives. For instance:”Supersessionism, also called replacement theology or fulfillment theology, is a theological doctrine which describes the theological conviction that the Christian Church has superseded the nation of Israel assuming their role as God’s covenanted people.”

In its modern form, replacement theology seeks to both supplant and overrun any opposition, in its quest to supersede the narrative of the Hebrews. Thus successive Crusades and Jihads are both normalised and forgiven, whilst any attempt to defend against the tragic result, which has seen a litany of massacres both in Europe and MENA all the way back to the 1033 Fez Massacre, are immediately discounted.

At the risk of sounding callous to the ‘woke’ mob prancing around in Keffiyahs and Birkenstocks, Israel and the Secular West could slay a million journalists alongside their families, aunts and cousins in Gaza (as they already have in Syria) and it should not challenge one’s commitment to secularism an iota, nor alter our long-standing opposition to theocracy and religious dictatorship.

Yet this is exactly what Hamas hope to achieve via martyrdom and sacrifice of all and sundry. That our country is debasing its own history of secular struggle against apartheid theocrats in Pretoria, by disabusing its citizens of their natural rights which stem from the lay Freedom Charter and its secular expression under a “We, the People” constitution is appalling. I refer readers to the latest debacle involving a cricket captain.

Need I mention that Nelson Mandela was a Zionist and bipartisan on the matter, arraigned for treason alongside fellow Zionists such as Arthur Goldreich at Rivonia?

Instead of defending pacifism and democracy, with a considered commitment to religious coexistence, we have instead chosen the path of Jihad-denial & Replacement theology, taking sides on behalf of a Hamas Genocidal Charter that translates into “I, Mohammad, decree, all the land from the River to the Sea is exclusively the domain of the Arabs” and ‘Kill all the Jews’.

Decades of gaslighting, decontextualisation and dropped narrative (especially denial of UN181 from which UK abstained) has led us into a religious conflict with blinkers on. The sooner we extricate ourselves from the quagmire the better.

SABC Not Topical

Making comparisons with the Warsaw Ghetto upraising in the light of Gaza is admittedly awkward, but instead of coming right out with a comparison, an attorney on ‘Its Topical,’ has the audacity to trot out an argument once deployed by Adolf Hitler himself who claimed of the Jews in Warsaw: ‘They have no right to self-defense.’

Another obviously Muslim guest, attempted to silence and cancel Zionist Federation’s Zev Krengel who barely got a few words in on Jeremy Corbyn, by essentially claiming ‘Zionism is Haraam’. Need one point out these religious Fatwas have no basis in law, and Corbyn was actually found guilty of Anti-Semitism by the UK Equality & Human Rights Commission?

READ: These accusations of ‘genocide’ bring shame on humanity

READ: SA Lawfare at the Hague

READ: Israel vigorously challenged ‘profoundly distorted factual and legal picture’

READ: Evidence points to systematic use of rape and sexual violence by Hamas in 7 October attacks

Sunday Saloon: Hypocrisy as usual as whites barred

WHILE the outrage expressed by certain journalists of a paler complexion, at Friday’s re-launch of the Forum of Black Journalists (FBJ) is understandable (some white journalists were denied access while others were barred entry) – this blogger can only shake his head and remark at the hypocrisy of all concerned.

SANEF launched into a full scale uproar at Friday’s event, with a reaction which some called “rather stage-managed”, and yet the corporate editors forum continues to turn a blind eye to similar situations involving journalists in the lower ranks employed by its own affiliates.

SANEF have yet to comment on several allegations of discrimination against Media24 — a labour case has been lodged before the Labour Court in which it is alleged the company maintained and continues to maintain a system of racial profiling and racial segregation, particularly in one of its newspaper divisions, amongst other things.

As a struggle journalist who experienced the system of racial segregation first-hand, and having fought against racial prejudice, one would have thought the SANEF at least possessed the temerity to issue a letter of support. Not even a statement from the Freedom of Expression Institute has managed to galvanise these corporate sycophants into action.

Yes, the FBJ are being hypocritical in railing against the legacy of the apartheid system while at the same time, denying others the same right. No less than a show of solidarity amongst brothers will dispel this concern — If the FBJ is a product of the system, then surely it should not be prolonging the system any longer than is absolutely necessary?

Any structure based upon race is an obvious anomaly in the new South Africa, but is such a thing as the FBJ an incongruency out of step with the times? As many still argue, such structures are needed to address unique issues and special concerns raised by black journalists. To argue otherwise is to ignore the conditions under which black journalists have had to work, so the FBJ has my support.

SANEF on the other hand, are clearly nothing more than a gang of reactionary nincompoops driving around in expensive limo’s and as Polokwane has shown, increasingly out of step with the masses. SANEF has also been quick to criticize structures such as the FBJ — those which it perceives as a threat to the colonial legacy of baaskap under the current neo-conservative agenda while dragging heals on others.

What is good for the goose is surely good for the gander? Unfortunately SANEF does only what is necessary when it is convenient to do so and when its actions are unlikely to eat into the profits of its affiliates. Sheer hypocrisy of the highest order, amongst those who should know better.

South Africa’s Commercial Press taking flack

Headline today: Media24 in hot water. Apparently staff have been misrepresenting circulation figures to advertisers, resulting in a furore over billing. A routine audit of a number of Media24 magazine titles, according to IOL has revealed “certain discrepancies”, the Audit Bureau of Circulation (ABC) was reported as saying on Friday.

The ABC had apparently asked Media24 to restate the circulation data of some titles, according to ABC general manager Charles Beiles, raising the question of what else is the African Media Giant hiding? Well, this blog can reveal that there is a lot more going on at Media24. Take the group’s attempts to squash my own case of discrimination (in which I have complained about racism and antiSemitism after being fired for writing a piece about a black jazz musician for a community newspaper published “in a coloured target market” nogal), or the failure to report  the pathetic gagging and “urgent interdict” brought against my person, for supposedly publishing “false or misleading statements” of the kind the group is now having to restate.

Can one really believe the kind of brainwashing going on nowadays? Especially when corporate media start looking a lot like just another sports and entertainment utility and less like the daily press. Well, you heard it from me, so for what its worth, check out Zoopy, an interesting new video utility that allows one to upload the truth without fear of censorship, and keep on blogging.

That’s all for now, I’m off for a surf.

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2630_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_1.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2632_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_2.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2633_David_ Robert_lewis_ My_Story_ Part_3.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2653_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_4.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2655_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_5.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2656_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_6.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2662_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_7.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2665_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_8.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2673_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_9.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2690_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_10.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2693_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_11.html

http://www.zoopy. com/video_ 2694_David_ Robert_Lewis_ My_Story_ Part_12.html

Independent Media hypocrisy exposed

CAPE TOWN: The Independent Group has refused a request for information relating to its liability as a corporate entity and ongoing participation as a media company in civil litigation. The request filed on behalf of the Alternative Media Forum (AMF) — an ad hoc grouping of media activists and civil society organisations — was submitted to Independent’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Howard, but access to the information was refused.

In a legal brief, Independent News & Media (INM) has supplied a number of reasons why it believes it should not grant access to the information requested and why it believes the information is protected from public disclosure. None of the reasons supplied address the key issues raised by the AMF relating to the group’s responsibility as a media organisation to keep the public informed.

According to INM’s lawyers, “the right to be informed is not a right”, and consequently one may draw the conclusion that the group is neither serious about press freedom, nor bound by the Press Code of Professional Practice as it relates to corporate affairs. According to a copy of the Press Code of Professional Practice supplied by the Press Ombudsman, to which Independent is a signatory, “the basic principle to be upheld is that the freedom of the press is indivisible from and subject to the same rights and duties as that of the individual and rests on the public¢s fundamental right to be informed and freely to receive and to disseminate opinions.”

The AMF intends appealing against INMs decision, before bringing an action before a court of law, that could force full public disclosure. The response by the Independent Group, calls into question the sincerity of its own executives in furthering the interests of the media as a whole. The contradiction between the way the group views its business and the demand for accountability and press freedom should also be noted. The interests of media bosses, like so many claims of this nature, are being seen as paramount to the interests of a free press, in a plutocracy that sees small publishers as a threat to their own survival. Furthermore, INM, via its various corporate holdings, continue to operate as if it has sole proprietorship over the daily press in South Africa. The group has now flouted both common sense and decency, by not disclosing this information, and is evidently hiding behind a veil of corporate secrecy.

In effect, the refusal to give details of civil litigation to which it has has been a party, simply because INM is a “private company”, renders litigation in lower courts impotent and without any remedial value. The group recently refused to supply details of a court case which it lost in 2003, while using the information to smear the convener of the Alternative Media Forum, David Robert Lewis.

The Alternative Media Forum is now claiming in papers that will be filed for review, that although INM is a private body that enjoys certain commercial rights, as a press group these rights have been superceded by the public’s “right to know”, furthermore, media interests gained via the constitutional guarantees on free speech, transparency, openness and access to information should be open to public scrutiny. It is the function of a public role which has added emphasis to these rights, and the public has a right to be informed of matters relating to freedom of the press.

There will be a meeting to discuss this response and other events surrounding press freedom and the media at a future date and venue to be announced.


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