Written by Modibe Modiba – FACT CHECK | Lately, we’ve witnessed the continuous retractions and apologies from news publications like News24. We’ve continuously witnessed how careers, especially that of black professionals, have deliberately been destroyed by such false articles without any clear action being taken against such perpetrators.
Families have lost bread winners because certain propaganda publications deliberately decided to write lies and smear the images of hard-earned careers. Today we saw yet another apology from controversial and embattled New24 to former Eskom CEO Matshela Koko and former Head of Legal Mr Jerome Mthembu.
When such articles came out, South Africans, especially black South Africans who suffer from an inferiority complex, took these misleading articles as facts. We need to come to the realisation as black people that because something is reported by white owned media publications, it doesn’t make it factual.
Families have been destroyed because certain pre paid journalists who get used like an irritating phone that only makes noise once a person recharges it with airtime. Where is SANEF when its favourites are on a weekly basis caught on the wrong side of history and of the Press Code? SANEF kept quiet when eNCA journalists came running to us because they were being censored by their own bosses.
We should start asking whether SANEF is still relevant to the South African media landscape, which is continuously changing. The disruption that black owned alternative platforms like The Insight Factor has caused much need change to the media of South Africa. It’s brought about a disruption and the emergence of young black voices, of which mainstream media has continuously tried shutting down.
Another question we need to ask ourselves is that, when media publications are caught to be at the forefront of lies and fake news, what kind of recourse do their victims have apart from a mere apology? Is the damage not done?
When these embattled publications are found wanting, they issue a little apology compared to the noise and front page noise they made when hunting down those they disagree with.
Will South Africans ever witness journalists being held seriously accountable for the lies they deliberately push?
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