South Africa: The Multiplicities of One Self - Raymond (Ray) Louw


There are sometimes two, sometimes a hundred, multiplicities of selves to all of us - as with Ray Louw. However, in each of these separate parts, he was consistent in his dependable predictability: these selves of his were almost hermetically sealed.

Raymond Louw knew who he was: he believed in the ideal normative role of journalism, of acting in the public interest and holding power to account; he believed that you could be a journalist, a researcher/writer and activist all at the same time - but they were all consistent selves in his roles as a board member for media organisations, editor, journalist, researcher (he wrote most of the Misa chapters on the SA landscape over the past 10 years) - chairperson and then deputy chair of the media freedom subcommittee. He always held media freedom positions at Sanef and was totally committed to doing whatever he was asked to do.

His days as an editor, especially his invaluable contribution to the Rand Daily Mail, has been discussed already so I will just talk about Ray Louw the Sanef media freedom warrior - which I don't use loosely. He was more than an activist. Ray was a founder member of...

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