Media24 gets into a hissy fit over loss of revenue

Media24 the company which destroyed several articles on South African jazz history whilst unlawfully misappropriating my own byline and corruptly rigging proceedings before the Labour Court of SA in 2010, is having a cadenza about the dominance of Google and Meta in the online advertising and search industry.

Last time I checked, Media24 did not have a search engine nor any social media of its own. Their online portal is behind a paywall (read Boere-Mafia Laager), and the loss of advertising revenue has absolutely nothing to do with Alphabet (the parent company behind Google) nor Meta and everything to do with the changing habits of its readers, many of whom have dumped the site’s partisan editorial and its “Kerk bazaar” for greener pastures.

With pay television falling prey to Internet streaming companies like Netflix, and Media24’s Multichoice spun off more than two years ago, (now the subject of a takeover by Canal+), executives at the company must be feeling the pinch, with very little left after tax — a sum of the parts analysis of the company might just provide an astonishing headline: Boetie, where are the parts?

The easy answer is Media24 is Takealot, South Africa’s number one online retailer, but with Amazon, Shein and Temu competing with the platform, executives must have had a groot skrik looking at projected revenues, seeing what is coming at them?

I suspect none of this verdriet impacts upon holding company Naspers and its ‘Jekyl & Hyde’ shenanigans at Prosus, both behemoths who collectively control billions of revenue from Tencent (and the Chinese certainly aren’t complaining about SA ownership of Wechat?) — that ancient bastion of Afrikaner kragdadigheid at the Heerengracht must be sensing they either need to throw in the towel, or buy into the new Web3 economy ?

That would be too easy, instead they have become the eternal whining aunties feasting on scalped whales harpooned by their parent company, so accurately portrayed by Daniel Defoe in his epic tail of capitalism, Moby Dick?

Anyone care to spear a whale?

The media company that refused to participate in the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, disputing the outcome and status of the special report on the role of the media during apartheid, apparently told the Competition Commission that ‘Google is abusing its “dominance” and threatening the viability of the Fourth Estate in South Africa,’ what a joke.

Since when did they ever care about the “Fourth Estate”?

Ishmet Davidson the self-same liar who claimed the company had been given ‘a clean bill of health at the TRC’, is reported to have told the Competition Commission on Tuesday that “Google is sucking advertising revenue out of South Africa, making it increasingly difficult for local publications to survive. He said even News24, despite its size, is loss-making – and he pointed the finger at Google and rival Meta Platforms, the owner of Facebook, for the dire situation facing local publishers.”

Davidson said News24 was “forced” in 2020 to implement a paywall around much of its content, but even though more than 100 000 paying subscribers have signed up, the revenue from subscriptions “has not nearly been sufficient to offset the decline in advertising revenue”.

If this sounds like the man is angling for another bail-out from government, in much the same manner as the sole pay-channel license awarded by former director PW Botha during the 1980s, they suck and you probably on track.

You can read the full story on Tech Central

EXPOSED: Did ‘ou krokodil’ Ton Vosloo just wake up to the fact that his company continues to mock the TRC report?

TON VOSLOO, the former Naspers chairman, appears to have suddenly realised that he is ‘living in a different country’. A piece published by Tammy Petersen of News24 carries details of his sudden change of heart, in which he selectively refers to events effecting the company’s standing in relation to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

In 2010 the company mocked the TRC Report during a hearing before the Labour Court of South Africa and proceeded to oppose a 2015 application before the Equality Court, brought to review the company’s opposition to the TRC Report and its continued hostility.

Vosloo makes no apology for acting in this way but appears keen to put other matters to rest. His employees think nothing of assisting the ‘Old Crocodile’ in his latest spin on events, in the process we uncover yet another fraud, courtesy of the Internet Archive.

Referring to a letter published on Netwerk24 and Die Burger, Petersen relates that after attending a graduation ceremony, Vosloo suddenly became ‘ashamed of his beliefs and actions’

Why did we act “so mockingly” against those who warned about the dangers of apartheid? Vosloo appears to ask.

These musings of an elderly Afrikaans speaker are far too late. Why did we, in our fiery youth and with our prowess as seasoned journalists, act so mockingly against those who warned us about the perils of forced racial segregation?” he wrote.

Why did we support the government of the time when it violated the Constitution by filling the Senate with staunch Nationalists to remove the so-called coloureds from the electoral roll?

Past tense, not so fast

The piece is remarkable for in placing emphasis on the past tense, Naspers appears to narrate a new version of the historical record, one varying the company’s previous attempts at revisionism and spin-doctoring.

A previous 2015 mea culpa issued via the company, was essentially a case-limited half-apology by Media24’s Esmerie Weideman, issued two days after I filed a review application before the Equality Court citing the company’s opposition to the TRC. The apology referenced a sole individual, one Conrad Sidego, who had experienced difficulties with separate facilities at the company.

Peterson now seems to have discovered a news report purporting to be from that time claiming:

“When apartheid was abolished, the Afrikaans press declined to make a submission to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), News24 previously reported.

“However, more than 100 Afrikaans-speaking journalists later submitted affidavits to the TRC in their individual capacity, acknowledging the Afrikaans press had been integral in helping to keep apartheid in place and should have accepted moral responsibility for what happened.”

According to the Internet Archive’s Wayback Machine, the report was published no earlier than the period surrounding 4 October 2022, when it was first recorded by the Archive’s webcrawler, and is thus fraudulently introduced as if it were published in 2015 and contemporaneous with events from that period. The archive has three snapshots of the page stemming from this later date, when it was presumably published with the fraudulent dateline.

Lying once again

Media24 manager Ishmet Davidson had at the time lied about the TRC episode on camera — the company, keen to manage its apologia and mea culpa, essentially suppressed its own history and continues to censor any negative criticism of its operations. In 2006 the company sought a gagging order in its attempt to quash criticism.

Peterson then out of the blue, and in the light of Vosloo’s regrets, now suddenly refers to hard facts first published on Medialternatives: “JBM (Barry) Hertzog formed the Nasionale Pers (National Press) in Stellenbosch in 1915, soon after founding the National Party. The party later governed the country and enforced a system of racial segregation.”

None of the statements released by the company at the time acknowledged the independent submissions made by journalists in their private capacity. Instead Ton Vosloo is recorded by his biographer as having taken a bleak view of what he perceived to be nothing less than ‘an act of betrayal’, a view-point which continued under Koos Bekker.

Vosloo’s page on Wikipedia is a self-authored hagiography (one treating its subject with undue reverence) in which the term ‘apartheid’ along with the Krokodil’s association with the regime, is simply airbrushed out of history, aided and abetted by corruption within our justice system.

A review application brought to examine the above in the public arena, has been wrecked due to lack of attorney representation following the absurd 1994-denialist outcome of Lewis vs Legal Aid SA (LASA). A scandalous decision in which AJ Bernard Martin of the High Court in 2019 proceeded to support the assertion by John van Onselen of LASA, to the effect that ‘the TRC Report would take a long time to read and may be ignored’.

For the record, the author condemns the crude High Court decision as ‘repugnant, vulgar, indefensible and contrary to our constitutional order’, one which includes a Preamble urging ‘recognition of the injustices of the past’.