South Africa: The Life-Changing Power of Investigative Journalism Is Why Media Really Matters

opinion

Living in South Africa, with the challenges we face daily, it's easy to fall into despondency. What's the point of doing anything when so many of those who are in positions of power have turned their backs on their citizens?

First published in the Daily Maverick 168 weekly newspaper.

After the #GuptaLeaks we knew there would be more corruption to uncover, but perhaps not on the scale of the Covid-19 looting, the VBS bank heist, the contamination of SA Police Service... At some point it must end, right?

Our journalists are not immune to feeling totally helpless. On 14 June, Maverick Citizen's Estelle Ellis reported how "the infant death rate at Dora Nginza Hospital in Zwide, Gqeberha has skyrocketed since 2020 as crippling staff and equipment shortages are left unattended and mostly ignored".

Her investigation was harrowing. What she uncovered included not just neglect but accidental deaths that could have been prevented had there been a functioning health system and had these frontline workers been given the resources they needed to save lives. This is the kind of journalism you cannot do from an armchair, waiting for something to "pop" on your Twitter feed. This journalism requires asking hard questions...

More From: Daily Maverick

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