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Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Why South Africans are so very thin-skinned?


In South Africa persons are still very thin-skinned on how the media report on issues shaping the country on daily basis and that has seen the media being criticised for many things – to such a degree that we as journalists end up being questioned by the Public Court with personal opinions that are clouded with hogwash, of course not fully aware how does the 4th Estate functions. A guarantee, GoXtra News is here to make you understand the media and the reality that it is there to enlighten you.

In SA sensitivity is like turning your television set on and that’s as mind-numbing as it hinders the process of reporting news to a certain extent. This is a challenge in particular to growing reporters’ who will fear reprimand and being blacklisted by certain companies and or human rights organisations and the laws imposed by the state.


As the Editor of GoXtra News, I’ve safely chosen to be different by introducing Gonzo Journalism/Writing in the country, a term coined by Hunter S Thompson, write it like it is, well, if for example a certain leader/celebrity does not do their job good, you say it in the article with no fear of reprimand. And I personally feel that’s one of the joys of living in a Democratic country – if what one says is informed, I don’t see the need to be slapped on the wrist at all.

I thought reporting on the entertainment beat was like a grown up walk, until of course I managed to get two legal threats that I also managed to throw in the refuse; simple because they were not meeting the law standards I’ve learnt while studying media law.

If we reported news primarily and from secondary sources with fear, well, we’ll not be having a footprint proudly in 51 countries of the globe today. And I am one in few editors who respect and value readers as far as publishing a special copy to clarify to them how the media works in choosing which stories to publish.

I strongly stand within my personal belief that if a reader is ignored they will think what they said was correct, thus I tend to correct people who send emails to disapprove with some of the stories we published before. There are individuals who will email a command to remove a certain story, at all our best we challenge those to as far as the court of law is concerned.

Critics made examples of well-known journalist(s) that were silenced, pity their dull examples did not deter me from doing my job. I know how we can grow or demolish a person and I am very careful when I write or proofread stories about people. If anything we publish is defamatory, well, we’ll be in and out of the court of law or we’ll be retracting articles and publishing apologies everyday suitable to our subjects to file for defamation law suits.

I have been warned of burning bridges by those who are not even in the media industry – but I helped them comprehend the fact that as a Journalist burning bridges is part and parcel of my job as I will die a journalist.  I knew what I was getting myself into to such an extent that I can wake up tomorrow pack my luggage and go report in the worst bloody country/state in the world should that opportunity knocks.

I want to further assure our international readers/audience that we are still going to bring you exclusive interviews/columns and paparazzi. Every day when I wake up I think of new and brilliant ways to report info-tainment. For the record I support and stand with every copy published here and I once encouraged one of my writers who pitched a story idea, “Make sure you bullshit them with facts…”

I relish

The Editor
Buchule Raba|Facebook|Twitter|Blog
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