Actual questions from a South African journalist

The long-held and widespread attitudes some South African journalists share about the struggle for liberation.

South African peacekeepers South African UNAMID forces sing to honor the legacy of Nelson Mandela in North Darfur (UNAMID, via Flickr CC).

Sometimes you have to despair at the state of South African journalism, as what is the result of a mix of factors: ineptitude, juniorization, but also often the result of long held and widespread attitudes journalists share about the struggle for liberation. A journalist called me up and asked me this as a question:

“Mandela was a terrorist, yet he became an hero and international icon. Do you think the media and the way they portrayed him had something to do with this?… Why would the media choose to see the good in what he has done rather than focus on the bad?”

I did point out that reading some history might be a good idea.

Nelson Mandela, Deputy President of the African National Congress of South Africa, addresses the United Nations in June 1990 (UN Photo, via Flickr CC).

Further Reading

Goodbye, Piassa

The demolition of an historic district in Addis Ababa shows a central contradiction of modernization: the desire to improve the country while devaluing its people and culture.

And do not hinder them

We hardly think of children as agents of change. At the height of 1980s apartheid repression in South Africa, a group of activists did and gave them the tool of print.

The new antisemitism?

Stripped of its veneer of nuance, Noah Feldman’s essay in ‘Time’ is another attempt to silence opponents of the Israeli state by smearing them as anti-Jewish racists.