News that INM are considering selling off their loss-making South African newspaper division should come as no surprise. The heavily indebted company whose majority shareholder is the Bank of Ireland has been plagued by a number of scandals.
The latest involving allegations of complicity in a corruption case involving Auction Alliance was exposed by the muckracking periodical Noseweek Magazine.
Medialternatives has reported on a number of INM scandals such as the failure by the company to investigate its own director Brian Mulroney who was rapped over the knuckles by the Canadian press for his part in a Canadian Airbus kickback scam.
Then there was brown envelope scandal involving kickbacks to journalists at the Cape Argus which did receive local coverage while the newspaper group dispensed with Anti-War dissent and failed to report it had lost a case against yours truly.
Need we remind you that former Minister of Transport, Mac Maharaj received a highly paid position at INM after the company ran a series of articles alleging corruption?
Or that the company published articles alleging that the apartheid propoganda chief Cliff Saunders was never in South Africa, and was “outside the country” when the State of Emergency happened.
Never trust a media company run by a mobile telecoms operator, and never forget, the apartheid regime deployed embedded journalists to write panoramic stories about “our boys on the border”.
WITH about as much clout as a ten-year bottle of whisky, Independent News and Media’s International “Advisory Board” is meeting in Cape Town to deflect growing criticism of the group as a whole. Pitted against mounting calls for a media tribunal that will address issues of public accountability, there are still unanswered questions raised by a damaging report tabled last year which labeled, chief executive O’Reilly nothing more than a crony capitalist.
“Sir Anthony O’Reilly” has become extraordinarily adept at lording it over the masses, driving content, interfering with editorials, pushing the Irish Model and feathering his own nest in the process. The man has staged rampant mergers and acquisitions that blur the line separating media from business, sport, entertainment, advertising and public relations with the resulting loss in respect for the press as a whole. Independent hacks in their slavish obedience to higher authority, failed to note criticism of the company, one actually praised the IAB for being an O’Reilly brainchild “formed 13 years ago to provide the group’s executives with intellectual soundings on the world scene.” Okay, so a 13-year bottle of Mulroney.
Eager to dip into the Canadian and Irish Whisky fortune behind the Irish Model was Sean Johnson, the class idiot who has created a masterful symbiosis between the Mandela legacy and the Rhodes club, with the usual problems associated with alcoholism. Board-members most likely to gain from group ventures into property and the petroleum industry are Ivor Roberts, career diplomat and former British Ambassador, to Ireland.