10 November 2017

South Africa: Celebrate the Good While Addressing the Bad in Journalism


While we celebrate the work of investigative reporters in exposing state capture and corruption, we also need to interrogate where some of our colleagues went wrong - and how damaging this has been.

We hail the work of those who - with doggedness, skill and bravery - are calling to account our president, his friends, family and allies, and exposing the extent to which they have destroyed individuals and institutions while they loot the public fiscus. Where most other institutions of accountability- such as the new Public Protector, the National Prosecuting Authority, the Hawks and the SA Revenue Services - have fallen short, a coterie of journalists have filled the gap.

Jacques Pauw is, deservedly, the man of the moment, having uncovered some incredible dirt to add to the pile that is already out, and written it with maximum impact and consummate timing. But he is building on the work of others, such as the Amabhungane/Daily Maverick Scorpio team of Stefaans Brummer, Sam Sole, Susan Comrie and others; Sikonathi Mantshansha at the Financial Mail, and Adriaan Basson and Pieter-Louis Myburgh at News24.

But Pauw also highlights in his book instances where journalists allowed themselves to be used by those out...

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