A favourite tactic of media critics is to use anecdotal evidence to tar the whole profession. In his Business Day column this week, Xolela Mngcu goes one better. He convicts the media of “cowboy justice” in its coverage of Jacob Zuma’s legal travails, without providing one shred of evidence in support.
After lots of slog, a study of media law in ten African countries has seen the light of online day.
It's been a project of the Rhodes School of Journalism and Media Studies, under commission from UNESCO. It was launched during the Highway Africa conference in hard copy, and 200 have been sent out to African journalism schools so far.
The 39-year-old man suspected of posing as the male prostitute who blogged about having sex with prominent South Africans has appeared in a magistrate's court in Cape Town on charges of theft and crimen injuria*.
The crimen injuria complaint against Juan Duval Uys was lodged by Simon Grindrod, the Independent Democrats councillor. Grindrod's name had been used on an Afrikaans blog, which claimed he had had sex with a prostitute named Skye, who is now believed to be Uys.
So the way the SABC/M&G story is playing out is testament to the usefulness of having a news website. On Friday night, the SABC chose to report on TV news that the applicant who had brought the interdict order said the newspaper had disregarded the court ruling in a most disgraceful manner.
Sheesh! I just don't get the SABC. The Mail & Guardian has done a terrific job reporting on "explosive final draft of an internal report into alleged corruption, abuse of power and intimidation at the South African Broadcasting Corporation". You'll have to buy today's paper to read more as the story's not on the website. And only parts of the story are in the paper as a judge granted a last-minute interdict against the paper.