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Vol. 9


EDITOR | REDAKTEUR Christiaan van der Merwe ASSISTANT EDITOR | ASSISTENTREDAKTEUR Robert Kaden PRODUCTION MANAGER | PRODUKSIEBESTUURDER Gerrit Schaafsma CHIEF SUB-EDITORS | HOOF-SUBREDAKTEURS Joshua Carstens Tom Raath CHIEF LAYOUT ARTISTS | HOOF UITLEGKUNSTENAARS Nielen Bottomley Charlea Sieberhagen GRAPHICS EDITOR | GRAFIKA-REDAKTEUR Samina Anwary PHOTOGRAPHIC EDITOR | FOTO-REDAKTEUR Lourensa Eckard SUB-EDITORS | SUBREDAKTEURS Haji Mohamed Dawjee Evans Nyasha Manyonga AJ Opperman Michelle van der Spuy Natasha van Wyk Chrizane van Zyl CIRCULATION MANAGERS | SIRKULASIEBESTUURDERS Stephanie Pekeur Mia Spies Raymond Willemse FACT CHECKERS | FEITEKONTROLEERDERS Estée de Villiers Jana Joubert Nico Gous Siyavuya Madikane Nomaswazi Nkosi ONLINE EDITOR | AANLYNREDAKTEUR Sarah Koopman CONTENT SUPERVISER | INHOUDSNASIENER Hannelie Booyens VISUAL SUPERVISOR | VISUELE NASIENER Deidre Nortje

Look around you, the world is changing. You don’t even need a smartphone, computer or television to notice – a quick look outside whichever window you find yourself at will suffice. The past year has been one of the most tumultuous in terms of big news events and rapid changes in the world we thought we knew. It’s an exciting time to be a journalist, activist or idealist, or a combination of the three. It is not difficult to trace the thought processes involved in coming up with the title for the 2011 version of SMF, (R)evolution & the media. As with the human race, the essence and sprouting seeds of the popular revolutions still reverberating around the world, originated on our own beautiful continent of Africa. The so-called “Arab Spring” showed the world’s oligarchical tyrants how a brutally repressed populace can rise up and eject long-term, iron-fisted rulers. We examine to which extent it is justified to affix Twitter and Facebook to the revolutions that shook Northern Africa (24) and chronicle the news outlet Al Jazeera, responsible for so much of the excellent coverage of the events (26). Our own country was not exempt from the waves of change permeating throughout the rest of the world. Julius Malema has evolved into a self-sustaining one-man media circus. Hardly a day passes when he does not dominate the news media in South Africa. Whether or not the attention is warranted, the question of what Malema’s supporters think of his antics, trials and tribulations rarely garners much media attention. Even more interesting is the allure of Juju to ordinary South Africans (8). The changes are not limited to politics and popular uprisings. It is evident in what we wear (58), how we perceive beauty (60), the environment around us (44), the food we eat (46) and our very definitions of ourselves (16 and 56). The media shape and determine all of these factors, but even the profession of journalism is undergoing its own revolution whilst, ironically, reporting on various others. Technology is still the threadbare buzz-word reverberating around newsrooms and classrooms. In the midst of the rapid changes you find the old guard of big money men desperately clinging onto their grip of media power (34) or trying to squeeze profits out of different avenues (32). Without discounting the impact which technological innovations and social media have had, perhaps the most enduring and powerful legacy of the 2011 revolutions is the role ordinary citizens played and how they, in effect, lead and preceded traditional reporting from established media outlets. People drove the changes using technology as their tools, not the other way around. Recent events to use the “Arab spring” template, such as the Occupy Wall Street phenomenon in the United States, have evolved into truly global, anti-greed and anti-establishment movements. The proverbial winds of change have grown from a slight breeze into a powerful gale. Ordinary citizens have become empowered with the prospect of finally shaping their own destinies. There are ample reasons to be excited for the idealistic journalist still eager to try to change the world for the better. Previous generations have tried with various degrees of success, but now it feels tangible that shaking and finally breaking the foundations of suppressive powers is within reach. 1 | SMF 2011


Contents HOME FRONT TUISFRONT Till death do us part? Geheime wapen teen mediawet? Swart diamante streef na sukses Afrikaans raak al hoe losser en lekkerder Inside the digital laager

MEDIA TRENDS

INTERNATIONAL

8 12 16 20 22

INTERNASIONAAL Whose Twitter revolution? Oase in ’n mediawoestyn Zim media reforms: real or not? Moeder van die media

24 26 28 30

MEDIANEIGINGS Q&A with Koos Bekker The fall of Rupert Murdoch? Breathing life into football The end of television? Developing images

32 34 38 40 42

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Inhoud SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY

LIFESTYLE

WETENSKAP&TEGNOLOGIE Karoo in die kollig Wat die media ons voer Medical Apps: solution or fad? Nuwe media baan die weg Blogs: betroubaar of bog?

44 46 50 52 54

LEEFSTYL A changing family portrait Strate vol styl Colour me beautiful Living in the craze age The revolution blues

56 58 60 64 66

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1. Natasha van Wyk Revolutions give a sense of empowerment to the powerless. They are a means of standing up to “the man”. But the violence stemming from such revolts is due to a lack of positive outlets for pent-up anger members of society have accumulated over years of oppression. Revolutions are a step towards democratic freedom, but what a pity it has to result in brutality to have people’s voices heard.

12. Estée de Villiers If the power was really to the people, what would this country look like? I don’t think it would be marked by such large income gaps and inequality. This needs to change, and as this magazine illustrates, we live in a time of change. Don’t just join a movement, start one. Be the revolution. 11. Stephanie Pekeur In life, we need to move forward. Towards better things for ourselves and for societies. In order to get to the next level we need to actually take that step. People might get hurt or even die in this process, but we need to make sacrifices. The point is that new possibilities have opened up. My point? Get with the times, or get left behind.

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10. Siyavuya Madikane There is nothing good about revolution. Lives are lost and families torn apart. But like Frantz Fanon said: “When all negotiating fails, violence becomes the only option left to obtain freedom.” I think that is what has happened this year. Revolution was a necessity. What happened in Egypt and Tunisia was necessary. In Libya, however, it was ochestrated by the underhanded Western powers who think they are God. 9. Joshua Carstens Die voorgestelde Wet op die Beskerming van Inligting en die News of the World-sage het opnuut die kollig op persvryheid geplaas. Joernaliste het hul mag vir te lank misbruik en soms sonder integriteit opgetree. Noudat persvryheid bedreig word, is baie mense verbaas dat die regering die media wil muilband. Die enigste heilige koei vir die media, is die media self. Vryheid van spraak is uiters noodsaaklik in ’n demokrasie, maar dan moet dit verantwoordelik gebruik word. 4 | SMF 2011

3. Tom Raath This year I’ve watched the development of revolutionary movements around the world with great interest, because I love patterns and trends. For a while it seemed like “the revolution” had built up an unstoppable momentum, which was exciting. The truth is though, while change is sometimes needed to make progress, revolution is not instantaneous. These countries have a long, painful road to walk down.

2. Nielen Bottomley The turmoil in the world is scary. It can be so overwhelming to look at the suffering that many find it easier to look away. Cue: Revolutions. People believing in change so much they’re prepared to die for it. The great thing about this is the ripple effect it has. And before you know it, more people are being empowered to stand up for what they see as justice.

4. Raymond Willemse Die selfoon is magtiger as die swaard. Vanjaar sal as die Moeder van Revolusies bekendstaan. Meer as tweehonderd jaar gelede het revolusionêres regerings en monargieë met wapens tot ’n val gebring. Vandag doen moderne tegnologie dít. Selfone en sosiale netwerke, veral Twitter, het dit bewys. Wat wel problematies is, is dat daar steeds miljoene mense in die wêreld is wat nie toegang tot hierdie mediums het nie.

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5. Chrizane van Zyl Revolutions have changed the course of history and will do so even more as we live in an increasingly interconnected world. No part of the history of humankind has been without a revolution of some sort: The future will be built on the revolutions of our time! Past revolutions must be the canvas against which we create our future.

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8 8. Michelle van der Spuy Van al die revolusies wat vanjaar in die nuus was, was die onderliggende tema van die revolusie in mense se persepsies van die wêreld die belangrikste. Mense besef nou die status quo is nie ’n statiese toestand wat vanuit ’n passiewe posisie slegs aanvaar moet word nie. Die verwerping van kapitalisme deur groepe soos Occupy Wall Street en die uitkring van protes is waarskynlik een van die grootste paradigma skuiwe wat nog plaasgevind het.

7 6. Jana Joubert There are various dictionary definitions of the word “revolution”. My favourite, however, is the following simple sentence: “Any fundamental change or reversal of conditions.” In this case, it is the media that have been changed, by us — the revolutionaries. At times the change has been a good one, sometimes bad. But most important of all to remember is that more change is yet to come. 7. Christiaan van der Merwe The revolutions, more than anything, give me hope and a sense of optimism. It nurtures the hitherto minute feeling that there are many more people out there who think the world is broken and in need of reshaping. A sense of community is spreading, a brotherhood determined to break down decrepit structures and inhibitions long forcibly imposed on all of us. Let it be so…


13. Mia Spies Die einddoel van ’n revolusie is verandering omdat mense van ’n land of gemeenskap ontevrede is. Sosiale en politieke revolusies soos in Libië en Egipte raak soms geweldadig omdat mense se ontevredenheid te lank op dowe ore geval het. Ek wil as jong joernalis seker maak dat die pen in plaas van die swaard gebruik word om dié veranderings in die wêreld mee te bring.

24. Nico Gous Social media are the present craze adding to our understanding of the world. Providing more, often sterile, information but carrying the hope that gravitating toward new technology will enrich users. But soon, media cannibalisation will claim another victim. Farcical as they are, we have seen mutations changing the application of journalistic skills. Mutations which ignorant journalists will continue to report as “revolutions”. 23. Nomaswazi Nkosi The media have always been a revolutionary tool. If it ceases to be that then it is not serving its purpose. My hope in my career as a journalist is to be an instrument for change. Even if it changes just one person’s life or a million, the fact that I helped to open people’s eyes and minds and enriched their lives in some way is what is important. 22. Evans Nyasha Manyonga This year has seen its fair share of revolutions, from the well-coordinated protests that led to the fall of Hosni Mubarak, to the unbelievable fall of the once great Muammar Gaddafi. Revolution is inspired by inequality. So, wherever inequality is present, revolutions are always patiently waiting to pounce. Oppression and revolution are different yet inseparable.

Foto’s: NIELEN BOTTOMLEY

21. Sarah Koopman We find ourselves in a rapidly changing world as people rise up against an unsatisfactory status quo. As journalists we have the chance to highlight the plight of those affected by a minority wielding economic and political power. Revolutions will keep happening and we can only hope they will continue being for the upliftment of a marginalised majority.

14. Haji Mohamed Dawjee Revolutionaries, imaginatively, are people who wear berets for no reason. History has shown us that these figures were once merely just menaces to society. “Revolutionary” turned on its head is “Rebel”. A word conjuring up images of people with bad hairdos and unsightly facial stubble. Still, revolutions will always be necessary in society. Because without them, we would have no reason for art, Bob Dylan, or writing pieces like this.

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20 20. Gerrit Schaafsma I think new communications technology is going to have a profound and lasting impact on the way politics is conducted. Already it has contributed to the overthrowing of dictators in the Middle East, but this is only the beginning. Social media are going to encourage more participatory democracy that will operate alongside and sometimes outside traditional political institutions.

15. AJ Opperman Revolusie en verandering marsjeer hand-aanhand. Soos die lewensgety verander, is revolusie in die media ook die logiese gevolg. Kyk maar na al die tegnologie wat na vore kom, nuwe maniere om nuus te versprei. Revolusie kan baie goed wees, maar dit hang natuurlik af wie aan die ontvangkant daarvan is: onthou maar vir Marie Antoinette en manlief Lodewyk VI in die 1700’s. En tog ís revolusie positief solank dit blywend is. 16. Lourensa Eckard Ek is altyd skepties oor die woord “revolusie”. Vir my beteken dit ’n volle omwenteling, ’n terugkeer na die beginpunt. En tog as daar na ons geskiedenis gekyk word, is dit presies wat gebeur. Maar dit gee my hoop, want revolusie lei tot revolusie, lei tot nog revolusie. Die wiel draai. Ek dink ons moet regtig begin bekommerd wees wanneer die wiel ophou draai. As voornemende joernalis maak dit my opgewonde — en lus vir rooiwyn. 17. Robert Kaden Everybody wants a revolution. But everybody wants it on their own terms or in favour of their own cause. This, of course, rarely ever happens. Most revolutions end in disillusionment, mediocrity or a violent backlash. Most revolutions simply make 360° turns. Maybe revolutions are just history repeating itself with a facelift? 18. Samina Anwary Oppressive systems can only survive off the hunched backs of the masses for so long. This time, the people will not be forgotten. The protests won’t match the patterns of the UN commemorative calendar. Every day is an International Day of Struggle. Against unfettered systems that entrap imaginations into loving what makes them unhappy. It’s like Arundhati Roy said, “We be many and they be few. They need us more than we need them.” 19. Charlea Sieberhagen Revolusie beteken verandering. ’n Nuwe manier van kyk, ’n nuwe benadering. In die moderne samelewing en met die vinnige ontwikkeling van tegnologie, word ons gereeld blootgestel aan revolusie. Revolusionêre idees word amper elke dag uitgedink en beïnvloed ons lewens, direk en indirek. Revolusie is nie noodwendig altyd positief nie. Dit is ook nie altyd verantwoordelik nie. Maar revolusie is ’n werklikheid en iets om van bewus te wees. En van die nagevolge moet ons kennis neem. SMF 2011 | 5


6 | SMF 2011


Till

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do us part DEATH

Tom Raath

8 | SMF 2011

The ANC, a century-old political force, has problems. The ANC has produced Julius Malema who in many ways encapsulates these. He himself is not everyone’s favourite young leader, but while enemies abound, legions of fans still see value in someone speaking his mind.


HOME FRONT

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t’s not because of one thing he says,” summarises 24-year-old Andy Williams. “He’s realistic, he’s stating the facts and says it the way it is. He doesn’t go around in circles.” Andy is from the Eastern Cape and studies marketing management at the Cape Technicon. Although critical of some of Julius Malema’s behaviour, he warily accepts Malema for who and what he is, almost with a sense of resignation. “In our generation it’s hard to find better leaders. We expect so much from all our leaders, our councillors and mayors. Everyone’s marketing themselves, saying they’ll do a better job, but when they get that position only their family and friends benefit. It’s hard to know who to trust.”

Blame it on a power vacuum Eyewitness News reporter and writer for the Daily Maverick, Stephen Grootes, writes extensively about Malema and he recognises the gap weak leadership has left for the likes of Malema. “Julius Malema could not happen without Jacob Zuma. Thabo Mbeki would give speeches and you’d know what he’s thinking. Zuma does not, there’s a vacuum of policy. With Malema you get more news from him speaking at a rally for five minutes than you get from the president speaking for an hour. He has a way of saying things that no one else does. “Julius Malema would be a political star no matter where in the world he was born. He is in my view a natural politician and possibly the best South Africa’s ever given birth to,” continues Grootes. This much is evident to Malema supporters as well. “He’s a leader – when you look at him and listen to him, you can tell he’s a leader of the community,” says Linda Mzayifani (39) from the Eastern Cape. Linda left school

after grade nine and is currently unemployed, but he feels schooling has precious little to do with leadership. “When you are a leader there is no need to have an education, because leading comes from your mind, not from school.” The mere fact that someone like Malema can make it has even inspired Linda to not rule out a political career of his own. “I can’t debate on Malema’s education, because not even our president has much education,” explains Ishmael Lethoko (34), himself having finished school up to grade eleven. He currently runs his own building enterprise. “What I want is a president who can look at the consequences (decisions have) on the community. They say some people are born leaders, maybe he was born a leader.” Supporting agendas Ishmael raises an interesting point that highlights the complexity of politics and Malemapolitics in particular. “I don’t support him in everything he does, but I support him on his agenda, that people shall share and the people shall govern,” he says. “He is fighting the same battle Chris Hani was fighting. The poorest of the poor are still the poorest of the poor. “I don’t support a person, but I support views. The bad ones, let it go, I won’t feed on it. But if you put a good view on the table that we’ll all benefit from, I’ll support it.” If that is the case, if certain good intentions can withstand all manner of undercooked policy and silly public statements, that means publicising Malema’s quirks and flaws in the media seems almost pointless. It is pointless in the sense of exposing him, but not a poor marketing strategy for the media at all. No other public figure, it seems, is as generous to the media as Malema. And they lap

up each and every word. He has provided them with a veritable revolutionary in terms of news generation and in the process has become a household name synonymous with controversy. Although he sometimes claims to be tormented by the (“white”) media, all the attention really only serves to boost his profile in the long run. That is why you will hear statements like these from time to time: “I don’t care what you write. I am wet already, why should I care about the rain?” He is not a media creation Grootes thinks the blame on the media is largely unwarranted. “I think while the media play a role, people who say he’s a media creation are very wrong,” he says. “The ANCYL is important. It’s always been from the 1950s onwards, the big debates of our time have tended to come from them to an extent, so we have to concentrate on them. Now you have an exceptional politician suddenly in charge of this body and it’s obvious we’re going to focus on him, we’re right to, we have to!” There are some who feel though that the issues and debates somehow get lost in reports. “The media only focus on the dumb shit he says, but what about the arguments like reparation?” asks MXit employee Gershin Davidse (31). “Julius is necessary. The people that had to change haven’t changed. Julius is a messenger. You can shoot the messenger, but the problem won’t go away.” Gershin is not Malema’s biggest fan by a wide margin, but feels if circumstances in the country do not change, the end result will be the same as anything that can be wrought by a Malema administration. “I myself am so gatvol by now that I feel like saying: ‘Bring on Malema!’,

SMF 2011 | 9


because whether we take the Malema route to Zimbabwe or stay on our current course, that’s where we’ll end up.”

many insults before you go, ‘Oh come on, Julius’... Who is this punk to abuse us all the time?”

Free speech fighter? “The hate speech shit is unnecessary though. You can choose to shut up too,” says Gershin. “It’s just nitpicking to be spending so much money because of a song, while people are starving and have nowhere to sleep.” That song, “Dubula iBhunu”, has now been ruled to be hate speech, but it continues to split commentators as well as Malema supporters. Interestingly, the court ruling has provoked much debate about freedom of speech and suddenly Malema finds himself much more closely allied to the media than he might think. The chances of them striking up a sudden friendship remain fraught, however. “A Julius Malema press conference has a very different atmosphere to it,” tells Grootes. “One reason is his attitude – he tells a lot of jokes, he gives a lot of insults. He is the only one who feels he has to insult the person asking the question, he rips off the car they drive, whatever. “The other thing is he packs the room with his own supporters who laugh at his jokes and clap at what he says. It’s his right to do that, but it doesn’t mean it’s a normal press conference. So he tries to make the press feel threatened and obviously they will respond. We’re journalists, we don’t have to take that crap. You can only take so

The road ahead The press still has reams of paper and internet scrolling space to fill with whatever Malema is involved in next, but perhaps there has to be looked past this confrontational attitude to start focusing on the issues. The media need to rethink ways of reaching Malema supporters in order to do its job and inform but also get people talking about positive, sustainable reform. The fact remains, the problems are there to be pointed out and currently Malema is reaping easy rewards for stating the obvious. “He says things many others can only bring themselves to think about and he represents the Freedom Charter to a big extent,” says Gershin. Many sit with bated breath to see what Youth League supporters will do next or where they will march to in his name, and if anything can unseat this outspoken rabble-rouser. While he is in the ANC it seems unlikely for his support to diminish. Says Gershin: “He’s done his dirty work. You won’t soon forget about Julius Malema in the ANC...”

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Quick quotes on Malema: “From my side of things he always speaks the truth.” - Linda “I can’t say I won’t support him if he were out of the ANC. The ANCYL is under the ANC, so I support Malema.” - Linda “I disagreed with the way he dealt with the journalist. Malema is a well-respected member of the youth league, it’s not acting in a professional manner.” - Andy “He has that anger inside of him. Because of the way he grew up.” Andy “There was a time that I thought I could place him, that he was an ANC pawn. But now it seems like he’s gone solo and become a renegade.” - Gershin “Everyone’s ideal is for us to be more like Europe, to be able to hop on the train and three hours later be in Joburg. At the moment no one’s looking for solutions.” - Gershin


We breathe Journalism

Stellenbosch University’s Department of Journalism is a specialised postgraduate training institution for the profession in South Africa. As one of UNESCO’s top 12 journalism schools in Africa, it sets the standard for professional journalism education and training in the new century. It offers a balance between practical journalism skills and exposing students to ethical, technological and cultural aspects of the media. The course provides students with skills in radio, television, Internet and print journalism. Short courses presented by journalists working in the field bring real world experience into the classroom. Applications for the postgraduate, honours level BPhil in Journalism close on the 31 August every year For more information: www.sun.ac.za/journalism

Die Departement Joernalistiek aan die Universiteit Stellenbosch is ’n gespesialiseerde nagraadse opleidingsinstelling vir hierdie beroep in Suid-Afrika. Dit is een van UNESCO se top 12 joernalistiekskole in Afrika en stel die standaard vir professionele Joernalistiek-opleiding in die 21ste eeu. Dit bied ’n balans tussen praktiese vaardighede en blootstelling aan die etiese, tegnologiese en kulturele aspekte van die media. Die kursus gee studente vaardighede in radio-, televisie- en drukmedia. Kortkursusse word ook deur werkende joernaliste aangebied wat praktiese ondervinding in die klaskamer inbring. Aaansoeke vir die naagradse, honneursvlak BPhil in Joernalistiek sluit elke jaar op 31 Augustus. Vir meer inligting: www.sun.ac.za/journalism


Geheime wapen teen mediawet ? Raymond Willemse

Die voorgestelde Wet op die Beskerming van Inligting het die media op hol en kan ’n groot invloed op persvryheid hê. Hierdie wet het betrekking op veral die drukmedia. Maar wat gaan die regering doen as geklassifiseerde inligting op die internet beland en deur sosiale netwerke soos Twitter vlerke kry?

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n die era van WikiLeaks (’n webtuiste waar staatsgeheime genadeloos onthul word) het regerings wêreldwyd rede tot kommer. Sou die voorgestelde Wet op die Beskerming van Inligting wel in Suid-Afrika deurgevoer word, sal dit vir die regering moontlik wees om die tradisionele media met drakoniese wette te muilband. Maar hoe gemaak as geheime dokumente wat uitlek in ’n oogwink deur duisende mense op die internet of sosiale netwerke versprei word? Die impak Vroeër vanjaar in Brittanjé was howe magteloos om interdikte af te dwing wat bekendes gekry

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het om hul skandes te verdoesel. Die Manchester United-sokkerspeler Ryan Giggs het gedink hy is uit sy verknorsing gered toe ’n hof poniekoerante verbied het om besonderhede oor sy buite-egtelike verhouding uit te lap. Dié skindernuus het egter op Twitter uitgelek en binne minute het mense wêreldwyd van sy skandes geweet. ’n Anonieme Twittergebruiker het die nuus op dié sosiale netwerk gebreek en Giggs het geëis dat die gebruiker verantwoordelik gehou word vir die skade wat aan sy beeld berokken is. Hy het selfs vir Twitter gedagvaar, maar hulle weier steeds om die gebruiker se identiteit bekend te maak. Die meeste van die kritiek teen die

wysigingswet in Suid-Afrika behels dat dit die regering in staat sal stel om enige staatsinligting as vertroulik te klassifiseer. Staatsamptenare sou dié wet kon gebruik om korrupsie en bedrog toe te smeer. Indien die media wel geklassifiseerde inligting sou publiseer, sal hulle baie swaar gestraf kan word. “Enige ongemagtigde bekendmaking van inligting — ongeag die medium waarin dit gedoen word — sal ’n kriminele oortreding wees,” sê Cecil Burgess, die voorsitter van die ad hoc-komitee wat die wetsontwerp in die parlement bespreek. “ ʼn Boete sal na skuldigbevinding opgelê word,” sê hy. Burgess sê indien geklassifiseerde inligting


TUISFRONT

Foto: CLARE LOUISE THOMAS

Tunisië en Libië kon die tradisionele media muilband, maar kon niks doen om die boodskap te keer wat van selfoon-tot-selfoon versprei is nie. Só sal dit ook vir die Suid-Afrikaanse regering baie moeilik wees om die inhoud van sosiale netwerke en die internet te reguleer, sê prof. Geo Quinot van die Universiteit Stellenbosch se Regsfakulteit. Hy meen ’n plaaslike weergawe van WikiLeaks kan geskep word om geklassifiseerde staatsinligting oor bedrog en korrupsie aanlyn te publiseer.

op die internet uitlek, sal dit volgens die Wet op Nasionale Strategiese Intelligensie van 1994, deur staatsekuriteit gemonitor word. Dié orgaan hanteer sekuriteitsmaatreëls en spioenasie. ’n Grondwetkenner van die Universiteit van Kaapstad prof. Pierre de Vos sê volgens die voorgestelde wetgewing sal dit wel ’n kriminele oortreding vir enigiemand wees om inligting wat as vertroulike geklassifiseer is, bekend te maak — selfs al word dit op sosiale media gepubliseer of uitgesaai. “Dit gaan dalk nie ’n oortreding wees om vertroulike inligting op die internet en sosiale netwerke te lees nie, maar dit sal beslis ʼn oortreding wees om dit te publiseer,” sê De Vos. Die buiteland Dit is egter onduidelik wie die regering in die tronk gaan gooi as duisende, of selfs miljoene, gebruikers van sosiale media oor geheime staatsinligting begin gal braak? In die Midde-Ooste het regerings vroeër vanjaar uitgevind presies hoe gevaarlik sosiale media kan wees. Die regerings van Egipte,

Innoverende Tegnologie Tegnologie maak dit egter vir fluitjieblasers moontlik om ’n webtuiste te skep wat nêrens geregistreer is of na die oorspronklike skepper teruggevoer kan word nie. Iemand wat staatsgeheime wil uitlek, kan dus só ’n webtuiste skep, die inligting daarop plaas en nooit opgespoor of vervolg word nie. Volgens die voorsitter van die Inligting Sekuriteitsgroep van Afrika (ISG), Craig Rosewarne, is daar reeds verskeie webtuistes wat gebruikers in staat sal stel om dokumente anoniem te publiseer. In Januarie vanjaar is die webtuiste e-report.co.za van stapel gestuur waar fluitjie-blasers bedrog, wangedrag en korrupsie kan aanmeld. Terence Murasiki, die hoofkonsultant van Treten CAS (die stigter van ereport.co.za), sê hulle gaan nie soos WikiLeaks inligting aan almal bekendmaak nie. Hulle sal wel ’n ondersoekproses fasiliteer voordat vertroulike inligting bekendgemaak word. “Ons respekteer nog steeds die wette wat in plek is, maar dit is ook ons prioriteit om die fluitjieblaser se identiteit ’n geheim te hou,” sê Murasiki. Hulle gebruik in wese dieselfde tegnologie wat banke vir internetdienste gebruik en wat nie “voetspore” agterlaat nie. “In teorie is dit moeilik vir ’n derde party om by die inligting te kom. Slegs die gebruiker en bediener het toegang tot die inligting,” sê Murasiki. Daar is selfs rekenaartoepassings (applications) soos “Hide My Ass” wat die gebruiker se unieke aanlyn-identiteitskode (IP-adres) wegsteek. Hierdie kode word gebruik om met ander netwerke in verbinding te tree. Volgens Corné van Zyl, ’n kenner van sosiale media, lei die veranderinge in tegnologie en die rol wat sosiale media daarin speel, daartoe dat enigiemand ʼn spreekbuis kan wees. Indien die tegnologie beskikbaar is, sal daar ’n toename in anonieme onthullings van korrupsie wees.

“Maar daar is ook ’n kans dat dié wat daaraan skuldig is, uitgevang kan word,” sê hy. Sosiale Media Die bekende politieke ontleder prof. Adam Habib sê hy sal verbaas wees as die SuidAfrikaanse regering (soos die Chinese regering) ’n verbod op sosiale netwerke gaan plaas om burgers te verhoed om vertroulike staatsinligting te publiseer. “Ek glo nie dat ons al op daardie pad is nie,” meen Habib. Die redakteur van The New Age, Ryland Fisher, meen dit gaan vir die regering moeilik wees om beheer uit te oefen oor watter inligting op sosiale netwerke uitgelap word. “Op sosiale media kan enigiemand inligting

Andrew Feinstein: Voormalige ANC-LP en skrywer “Sou ek my boek After the Party onder die beoogde wetsontwerp geskryf het, sou ek ‘n tronkstraf van 25 jaar opgelê kon word. Hierdie wet ondermyn demokrasie en is ’n teken van ’n arrogante, korrupte regering. En dít van ‘n regerende party wat voorheen so hard vir demokrasie geveg het.”

Professor Franz Krüger: Direkteur van Wits se RadioAkademie “Hierdie wet kan die werk van veral ondersoekende joernaliste baie moeilik maak. Daar is al voorheen foute deur die media gemaak, maar niks wat hierdie soorte ingrype regverdig nie.”

Murray Hunter: Woordvoerder van Right2Know “Dit is nie net ’n anti-mediawet nie, maar ook ’n aanval op die media en ’n breër skuif van die staat om inligting wat die media het, te beheer. Gebruikersvriendelike platforms wat aanlyn beskikbaar is, insluitend sosiale media, bied nuwe geleenthede vir fluitjieblasers om inligting te versprei.”

SMF 2011 | 13


publiseer. Die groot vraag is: Vir wie gaan die regering dan vervolg? “Dit is maklik om die tradisionele media te reguleer, maar sosiale netwerke is ’n ander storie,” sê Fisher. Dis ook steeds ʼn onbeantwoorde vraag of die drukmedia vervolg sou word indien hulle berig oor geheime inligting wat aanvanklik op sosiale netwerke onthul is. “Ons sal dalk kan argumenteer dat dit wat ons gepubliseer het tweedehands is, maar ons weet nog nie of dit sal water hou in die howe nie,” sê Fisher. Tim du Plessis, die hoof van Media24 se Afrikaanse koerante, meen daar is “oorweldigende getuienis” dat die ANC-regering die beoogde wetgewing wil gebruik om die media

te verhoed om disfunksionele administrasie en korrupsie in die openbare sektor te ontbloot. “Mediahuise se regkenners sal nuwe kundigheid moet aanleer om die beperkings wat die wetsontwerp aan die media gaan oplê — veral in die digitale sfeer — te probeer omseil,” sê hy. Volgens hom bewys WikiLeaks hoe moeilik dit vir regerings geword het om hul geheime weg te steek. “Dit het reeds gebeur dat tegnologie ’n rol in mediavryheid gespeel het en as die wetsontwerp in werking tree, kan allerlei innoverende idees na vore kom om die wet te omseil. Sosiale media gaan ’n sleutelrol daarin speel,” sê Du Plessis. Die joernalis en skrywer Christi van der Westhuizen stem saam met Du Plessis en sê dit gaan bykans onmoontlik vir regerings wees om

die vloei van inligting te verhoed. “Die inligting sal uitkom of regerings dit wil hê of nie. In hierdie land moet daar meer innoverende maniere gevind word om inligting by landsburgers uit te kry, want die meeste burgers het nog nie toegang tot die internet nie. Selfoontegnologie is in dié verband baie belangrik,” sê Van der Westhuizen. Kenners waarsku dat onthullings op sosiale netwerke misbruik kan word omdat valse bewerings maklik gemaak kan word. Almal is dit egter eens dat inligting nie onderdruk kan word nie — selfs nie eers met die strenger wette in plek nie. Habib som dit op: “Gebeure in die geskiedenis het vir ons gewys dat dit ontmoontlik is om alle dinge ’n geheim te hou.”

Soortgelyke webtuistes

.com

ject.com

Tor

Dié webtuiste is daarop gemik om aanlyn-anonimiteit te verseker. Hulle beweer hul sagteware maak dit moeilik om die gebruiker se internet-aktiwiteite na te speur. Jy kan dus die webtuiste besoek en sensitiewe materiaal publiseer sonder om bekommerd te wees dat jy “opgespoor” kan word.

14 | SMF 2011

ww

s.org leak n pe .o

Openleaks

’n Internasionale fluitjieblaserwebtuiste waar gebruikers wenke oor bedrog en korrupsie kan oplaai. Dit is verlede jaar op die been gebring deur ’n voormalige woordvoerder van WikiLeaks, Daniel Domstcheit-Berg. Hulle sal die uitgelekte dokumente na nuusagentskappe stuur.

or rep .e

t.co.za

e-report report

Ontwerp deur Treten CAS, ’n onafhanklike maatskappy wat advies verskaf. Gebruikers hoef nie hul identiteit bekend te maak nie. Gebruikers kan inligting oor bedrog, korrupsie en wanadministrasie aanmeld. Dit bestaan sedert Januarie vanjaar. Heelwat voorvalle is alreeds gerapporteer.

w

ro rp o .t

ww

w

ww

’n Suid-Afrikaanse WikiLeaks soort webtuiste wat onlangs geloods is. Hulle wil verhoed dat inligting gesensor word. Dokumente wat hulle reeds op die webtuiste het, is die ministeriële handboek en Shabir Schaik se mediese verslag.

w

ZAleaks

ww

.z

aks ale

w

ww

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Selfs voor die hele WikiLeaks-saga was daar reeds webtuistes waarop inligting uitgelek kon word. Sedert WikiLeaks se ontstaan het daar ook nuwe portale na vore gekom wat beweer hulle is teen regerings en ander organisasies wat inligting sensor. Op hierdie wyse maak hulle inligting oor korrupsie, bedrog en wangedrag aan die publiek bekend.

ass.com my e id .h

Hide My Ass Daar word beweer dat hierdie toepassing (application) jou aanlynidentiteit (wat gebruik kan word om op te spoor watter webtuiste jy besoek het en wat jy daar gemaak het) en privaatheid verdoesel.


Nielen Bottomley

S

imphiwe Yako is 25 jaar oud. Hy is ambisieus en het ’n voorliefde vir luukse items. En hy is swart. Yako is ’n bankier in Oos-Londen en het tydens sy grootwordjare in verskeie plekke gewoon: Mthatha, Johannesburg, Lesotho en selfs Amerika. Ná skool het hy vir ’n BCommgraad by die Universiteit van Fort Hare studeer en was die Black Management Forum (BMF)studentetak se leier.

16 | SMF 2011

“Ek is ’n swart diamant,” verklaar Yako. “En ek is trots daarop.” Hy versinnebeeld dit wat baie mense as ’n belangrike deel van die “nuwe” Suid-Afrika beskou: Die swart middelklas, oftewel die “swart diamante”. Maar wie is hulle presies en hoekom is hulle skielik so prominent in die media?

Die opkoms Die begrip “swart diamante” het in 2006 beslag gekry toe die navorsingsagentskap TNS SuidAfrika en die Universiteit van Kaapstad (UK) se Unilever-Instituut ’n studie oor die swart middelklas in Suid-Afrika gedoen het. Hoewel die swart middelklas al vir dekades aan die groei is, het die beskrywing “swart diamante” dadelik posgevat. Die term het sinoniem geword met ’n wêreld van oorvloed, blink juwele en ’n uitspattige leefstyl. “Daar is op die oomblik 2,7 miljoen swart diamante in Suid-Afrika wat tot 70% van die totale swart koopkrag verteenwoordig,” sê Ivan Motlogeloa, die direkteur van nuwe sake-ontwikkeling en openbare sektor-navorsing by TNS Suid-Afrika.


TUISFRONT

+/- 50% woon in voorstedelike gebiede

2,7 miljoen

swart diamante in Suid-Afrika

Net 12% van swart bevolking kan geklassifiseer word

verantwoordelik vir ongeveer 54% van swart bevolking se besteding

60%-70%

van totale swart koopmag

40% van

alle vroulike besteding

60%+

woon in Gauteng

Volgens Motlogeloa maak mense die fout om aan te neem dat swart diamante as ’n homogene groep geklassifiseer kan word. “Daar is vier segmente waarin swart diamante ingedeel kan word,” verduidelik hy. Die “mzansi jeug” is jong mans en vroue wat nog tuis bly. Die “jong werkendes” (die sogenaamde “start me ups”) is jonk, enkellopend en ambisieus. Die “jong gesinne” is ouers van jong kinders en die “gevestigde groep” is ouer en meer stabiel. Die kriteria wat gebruik word, is dat dié swart groepe almal in die LSM (die metingskaal van lewenstandaarde) groep 7 en hoër moet val. Volgens dr. Marlize Terblanche-Smit, ’n bemarkingsdosent aan die Universiteit van Stellenbosch (US), is swart diamante se leefstyl vinnig en aktief. “Hul identiteit is kompleks as gevolg van

die subgroepe, maar hulle is oorwegend lief vir hul tuiste en besit eiendom. Hulle verdien goeie salarisse en het meestal geskikte beroepe volgens hul standaarde,” sê sy. Die uitspattige lewenstyle van sommige toonaangewende swart diamante het onlangs koerant- en tydskrifvoorblaaie gehaal en daar word nie altyd positief oor hulle berig nie. City Press het met Kenny Kunene se 40ste verjaardagpartytjie berig hoe hy ’n viering in ’n eksklusiewe nagklub in Sandton gehou het. Die drank alleen het R70 000 gekos. Ná die partytjie het die media breedvoerig berig oor die duur drank wat bedien is en sushi wat van vroue se lywe afgeëet is. Volgens Yako verteenwoordig Kunene alles waarna baie mense streef. “Hy straal sukses uit. Hy is die ‘gesig’ van hoe almal wil wees.”

Die rol van die media Hoewel die media grootliks op swart diamante se uitspattige leefstyl fokus, is daar ander stereotipes wat gereeld opduik. Soos die aanname dat dié mense welaf is as gevolg van Swart Ekonomiese Bemagtiging (SEB). Volgens Yako is dit ’n groot wanopvatting omdat mense sukkel om jong, suksesvolle swart mense te definieer en dan die SEB-etiket om hul nek hang. “Dis ’n hele nuwe sosiale dinamika,” sê hy. En die uitspattige lewenstyl? Yako meen mense probeer soms die leefstyl wat in die media uitgebeeld word, na te boots. Oupa Nkosi, ’n fotograaf by die koerant Mail&Guardian, het onlangs verskeie swart diamante as deel van ’n foto-projek afgeneem. Hy glo swart diamante moes lankal die SMF 2011 | 17


suksesleer begin klim het. “Swart mense is vir te lank van geleenthede ontneem. Dis nou tyd vir mense om uit te blink en geleenthede wat na hul kant toe kom, aan te gryp.” Nkosi sê die meeste swart diamante met wie hy gepraat het, word onderskei van ander lede van die middelklas omdat hulle ’n passie en liefde het vir dit wat hulle doen. “Hulle is nie verbonde aan die ANC nie. Hulle het almal hard gewerk om te kom waar hulle vandag is,” sê hy. Ná 1994 het die nuwe regering verskeie maatreëls soos swart-bemagtigings inisiatiewe ingestel om ongelykhede van die apartheidsera te probeer regstel. Prof. Servaas van den Berg, ’n Ekonomiedosent aan die US, het in ’n onlangse berig in Die Burger gesê ongelykheid tussen groepe het heelwat gekrimp, terwyl ongelykheid binne groepe toegeneem het — veral onder die swart bevolking. Volgens Van den Berg is die ongelyke inkomste onder swart mense so groot dat as swart mense ’n land moes verteenwoordig, hulle een van die ongelykste verdelings ter wêreld sou gehad het. Volgens Van den Berg neem die ongelykheid in die swart bevolking so vinnig toe omdat die gehalte van en geleenthede tot opvoeding baie verskil. “Onderwys en die gehalte van onderwysers bepaal tot ’n groot mate wie in die swart

18 | SMF 2011

gemeenskap voordele uit nuwe geleenthede sal trek,” sê hy. Hy beklemtoon dat klas-ongelykheid nie opgelos sal word bloot deur werkskepping nie. Hulle sal as gevolg van swak opvoeding steeds lae salarisse ontvang. Werkskepping sou egter armoede help verlig. Hoe maak tydskrifte en koerante? TNS se navorsing toon aan dat meer as 50% van swart diamante glad nie tydskrifte lees nie, maar daar is tog ’n beduidende hoeveelheid wat wel tydskrifte begin lees. You (18% lees dit), Drum (16% ), Move (16%) en Huisgenoot (18%) is die gewildste tydskrifte onder dié groep. Yako meen dit is moeilik om swart diamante in die media uit te beeld omdat hulle so ’n heterogene groep is. “Daar is deesdae beslis meer tydskrifte wat op swart diamante gemik is,” meen hy. Hy self lees Destiny Man, Financial Mail en African leader en hou van tydskrifte wat fokus op welgestelde swart mans wat positiewe dinge vir die gemeenskap doen. “Dit help mense om daarna te streef,” sê hy. Jane Raphaely, voorsitter van Associated Magazines, het verlede jaar in ’n radioonderhoud met ABC oor swart diamante gepraat. Sy sê twee van Associated Magazines se tydskrifte, House and Leisure en Marie Claire is spesifiek, maar nie uitsluitlik nie, op welgestelde

vroue gerig. In House and Leisure was dit nog ’n paar jaar gelede amper onmoontlik om ’n swart gesin te kry wat hul huis in dié tydskrif wou laat vertoon. “Hulle sou altyd sê hulle is bang hul families sien wat hulle het en sak dan op hulle neer. Gelukkig het dit nou verander,” sê sy. Marie Claire maak nou ook voorsiening vir vroue wat hulself as swart diamante beskou. Volgens Raphaely maak dié tydskrif nou staat op die feit dat die bes geklede vroue in die land tans swart diamante is. Die ontstaan van Cosmopolitan in Suid-Afrika 27 jaar gelede het volgens Raphaely deur die rasgrense gebreek omdat dit grootliks “kleurblind” is. “Cosmopolitan het in werkende vroue belanggestel en het nie regtig [oor ras] omgegee nie,” sê sy. Raphaely gee toe daar is steeds verskille in die mark, maar meen daar is deesdae volledige integrasie in die samestelling van redaksies. Sewentig persent van alle senior poste by Associated Magazines word egter steeds deur wit mense beklee. Volgens Raphaely is dié ongelykheid toe te skryf daaraan dat wit mense van ’n vorige generasie beter opvoedingsgeleenthede gehad het het en dus in top-posisies aangestel is. Hierdie wanbalans is egter vinnig besig om te kwyn, want al hoe meer swart diamante klim die suksesleer.


AJ Opperman

20 | SMF 2011


TUISFRONT

SMF 2011 | 21


INSIDE THE

digital laager

Robert Kaden

Since 1994, right-wing Afrikaners have found themselves increasingly sidelined in South African politics. But with the rising popularity of social media, could the internet provide a new platform for the resurgence of right-wing politics? And, if so, what does this mean for South Africa?

I

n July this year, the Stellenbosch academic Anton van Niekerk was allegedly attacked in his office by Abel Malan, leader of the right-wing Volksraad Verkiesings Kommissie (VVK). Since its founding in 2008, the VVK has committed itself to the “independence” of the Afrikaner volk in a post-colonial and postapartheid South Africa. A nation for a volk In order to achieve this, the VVK has proposed that a volkstaat — or “nation state” — be established for the “Protestant Afrikaner” minority. According to Malan, the new territory could be scattered across the Northern Cape, the North West, Mpumalanga, the Southern Cape and the Eastern Free State and would be exclusively for Christian Afrikaners of WesternEuropean heritage. Gambling, pornography, homosexuality and sport on Sundays would have no place in their utopia. 22 | SMF 2011

The idea of an Afrikaner volkstaat within post-apartheid South Africa is hardly new. Several right-wing leaders, including Eugene Terre’blanche and Dan Roodt, have frequently campaigned for Afrikaners’ right to autonomy. The volkstaat-debate has even reached the pages of the Afrikaans Sunday newspaper Rapport. Needless to say, nothing has come of this and right-wing Afrikaners have rebranded themselves as an “oppressed minority” in a democratic and multicultural South Africa. But this raises the question: If right-wing groups find themselves caught in a political climate where their ideological views are outdated, while also having no territory to call their own, where will they turn to in search of a safe haven? Somewhat unsurprisingly, the internet offers the answer. In many ways, it is the perfect tool for extremist and fringe groups that want to push their agenda and build up a following. As a medium, the internet is relatively accessible and

cheap and allows information to travel across time and space with great ease. Because internet users are not obligated to disclose their true identities online, fringe groups have the anonymity that can be exploited to broadcast their opinions without fear of being identified and censored. As Naspers Community Development Manager and social media guru Sarietha Engelbrecht points out, the very nature of the internet makes it easier for people to make controversial or inflammatory statements. “Some people think they are safe behind a computer screen,” she says. “People are much braver when other people can’t see them. They easily write comments they won’t say in public.” The internet also breaks down barriers of time and space, allowing people to communicate more quickly and easily. For Engelbrecht, the comfort of online communication together with shared interests


HOME FRONT may lead to the creation of what one might call “online communities”. “Some websites, discussion forums and social networks flourish as a result of this niche network of people. Online communities are formed when a person creates a platform where people with shared interests and agendas can easily communicate with one another,” she says. The right-wing online presence In August the Sunday Times caused uproar when it published a photograph of a white man dressed in army clothes and armed with a rifle, posing over what appeared to be the body of a black child. The photo had been sampled from the Facebook profile of a “Eugene Terrorblanche”. Although the Sunday Times may have committed a blunder in presenting the photograph as a topical scoop, it succeeded in setting in motion a national (and even international) discussion about a right-wing presence on social networking sites. Facebook itself is home to a myriad of racist, right-wing groups and fan pages. Some of these serve as support groups for loyalists of the “old South Africa”; others are aimed at stopping “the genocide of the white minority in South Africa”. These pages, in turn, have several links to blogs and websites focusing on similar topics. The abundance of such racism should hardly come as a surprise to anyone who has read a few articles on News24.com. The comments section that accompanies all articles on this breaking news website has over the past few years become a breeding ground for hate speech and hot debates. However, according to News24.com’s Community Editor, Peet van Aardt, there has been a decrease in racist commentary on the website ever since it became compulsory for users to register on the website before being able to comment. What’s more, there are systems in place monitoring all posted comments. News24.com users can also report racist or defamatory comments, which will then be removed. “It often happens that someone writes racists commentary and once we have enough complaints about a specific user, we ban their

profile,” Van Aardt explains. “It should be added though that a person can create a new profile using his Facebook, Gmail address, Twitter or News24.com account and can start commenting again. But at least it means more work for that person and hopefully they learn their lesson and stop going on like that.” What can we expect? One cannot help wondering if the digitisation of right-wing politics poses a threat to post-apartheid South Africa. After all, this year alone has witnessed the internet — and particularly social media — being used as a platform for political mobilisation. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have all played an important role in the instigation of revolutions and uprisings in Egypt, Spain and, most recently, the United Kingdom. According to Engelbrecht, these new developments are hardly surprising. She feels the medium is the perfect platform for mass participation and action. “As social networks become more popular, people will start using it for political mobilisation. So many people are now part of social networks and have access to the internet via computers and their phones,” she says. Will we perhaps see South Africa following the same pattern as up North? Is the growing online presence of right-wing groups cause for fear? According to political scientist Anthony Leysens, the chances of significant right-wing mobilisation are slim. He provides several reasons for this. Firstly, the number of people who associate themselves with the Afrikaner right-wing are spectacularly small, numbering between 30 000 and 40 000 by Leysens’ estimates. Secondly, the Afrikaner right is hardly unified or cohesive. It consists of a variety of different groups and organisations that — despite a common ideological foundation — do not always see eye to eye. Except for a threatening militant fringe that makes up about six percent of the right-wing, Leysens does not feel there is any immediate threat. “In terms of what is happening in South Africa today, the argument in favour of a white, Afrikaner nation state has started to sound more

Right-wing fan pages and groups on Facebook •

A fan page for Die ou Suid Afrika currently has 90 792 fans. There is a group on Facebook called Unite Against The White “Farmer” Genocide In South Africa. This group aims to bring attention to

attacks and murders of white South Africans, a topic which this group feels is largely ignored in the mainstream media. Former AWB leader Eugene Terre’Blanche has 121 Facebook fans.

appealing. A lot of people are fed up with the pronouncements of Malema, with crime and farm murders and the fact that the government seems to be going the ‘African Model’ (route). The whole political climate draws sympathy for the white, Afrikaans-speaking demographic,” says Leysens. But this does not necessarily mean they will take up arms against the state and cause upheaval as witnessed elsewhere. “They are all middle-class people with vested interests in paying the mortgage and living a middle-class life,” Leysens explains. “Besides, the right-wing has also been incorporated into the current political system. Just look at the Freedom Front Plus. They’re in the system. The New National Party has been absorbed into the African National Congress. Government also regularly has talks with these non-threatening right-wing groups.” Keep them close Leysens, however, cautions against the vilification of right-wing groups. If these groups are demonised in the media, this may lead to them becoming more extreme and moving closer to the fringe. This could rapidly diminish South Africa’s political middle ground and irreparably damage its democracy. “The last thing you want to do is suppress the moderates. We need to incorporate them into the mainstream political discourse of the day rather than clamping down on them and driving them underground ... to their websites,” Leysens argues. So what should the South African media do about the racist, right-wing presence online? Should they silence these voices or let them be heard? “It’s not the role of the media to monitor these people. It’s the role of the state to keep an eye on them,” says Leysens. “The media should let their voices and agendas be heard. It is the responsibility of the intelligence apparatus of a liberal democratic state to monitor their activities. That’s what a liberal democracy is all about. Former American President Lyndon B Johnson once said of the FBI Director J Edgar Hoover: ‘It’s probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in.’ ”

• •

The group Ek is wit, en ‘n trotse Suid Afrikaner also focuses on the issue of “white genocide”. A fan page dedicated to Die Huidige Volksmoord van Afrikaners currently has 464 fans.

SMF 2011 | 23


WHOSE ? twitter revolution

Samina Anwary

T

Listening to media commentators over the last few months, you might believe the revolutions in North Africa occurred mainly as a result of social media. But this would be missing the point.

hanks to social media such as Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Flickr a global audience watched as long-time dictators were pushed from power by their frustrated citizens, while other leaders in the region were rattled by similar protests. In most participating countries there is significant unemployment and large propor-

24 | SMF 2011

tions of the population are below the poverty line — people have much to protest about. Job seeking is largely a pointless exercise. Graduates are unable to find work, as jobs are given to those with political or economic ties, thus keeping jobs and money within specific circles. Add to that an authoritarian government which cracks down on protests of any kind with military force, and you have a

region ripe for revolution. The causes “There were a few main causes: socioeconomic, lack of basic political freedoms and rights, and deliberate undermining of human dignity,” says Na’eem Jeenah, director of the Afro-Middle East Centre in Johannesburg. “In addition (there was) the breaking of the barrier


INTERNATIONAL

Photo: PAN MEDIA

ly acquainted with the everyday lives of the Middle Eastern/North African population — being inadequately informed about the context of the uprisings. It also took away from the people’s power to voice their discontent with their leadership, by diverting all the attention to a neutral medium.

of fear — which started with the uprising in Tunisia; the will and determination of the people to persist in their uprising; the organising by the labour movement that begun in 2007-2008; and the decision of the military not to open fire on protestors.” Skimming the surface These important issues, which featured in almost every country where protests took place, were sidelined by the Western media in favour of a sexier “social media as hero of the downtrodden” angle. Catchy phrases such as “Twitter revolution” were coined and cottoned on to, while the real reasons behind the revolutions — corruption, mass unemployment, the resulting poverty and iron-fist rule — fell by the wayside. Reporting was only skimming the surface, which resulted in Western audiences — scarce-

More than social media While social media were used by organisers to mobilise protestors, they were neither the reason nor the only means for the uprising. Says Khadija Patel, Daily Maverick journalist and political analyst: “Throughout areas in the Middle East where we’ve witnessed uprisings, social media have been crucial in mobilising people to join the cause. Of course it was not the only mobilisation strategy used. In Egypt, among very poor neighbourhoods, pamphlets were distributed among homes to inform people of planned protests and entreating them to join the uprising.” Social media helped shape mainstream media reports on the uprisings. Al Jazeera, the Doha based news channel, sourced a lot of content from protestors on the ground, broadcasting tweets, photos and video footage captured on cellphone cameras. The channel set up specially-dedicated portals to source content from various hotspots in the uprisings and aired this footage. “Social media have added another dimension to coverage of conflicts and uprisings, allowing journalists to source first-hand eyewitness accounts without having to actually be in the thick of the action. This raises issues of credibility, of course, but what it’s also beginning to demand of journalists is that they build lists of contacts with credible social media users,” says Patel. One of the first videos to go viral was of Tunisian Mohammed Bouazizi, who set himself alight after the police hassled him about selling his fruit — his only source of income. Soon after, a WikiLeaks page on Tunisian corruption surfaced. Social media made it possible to share information with the world faster than before and allowed audiences around the world to watch as events unfolded. In the process, the focus moved from the activists and their cause to their tools. Cultural Chauvinism “I think the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt were awe-inspiring. Social media allowed us to witness these revolutions as though we were part of it in some way, so it reflects a cultural chauvinism, I think, to have social media scoop

the credit. So, much Western coverage that feted social media missed the point,” says Patel. Egyptian video-blogger Sarah Abdel Rahman appeared on the cover of TIME magazine as a protestor and activist. At a recent TEDx talk in Stellenbosch she said that most people involved in the uprising did not even have smartphones. She raised the point that, in spite of this and the fact that the internet was sporadically being switched off to quell the uprising, protests continued. Social media had an important role to play in the year’s revolutions. They sped up the rate of organisation and provided ample sources for journalists who could not be on the ground. However, it becomes problematic when media are seen as the reasons for revolt rather than the tools. This detracts from the real issues that pushed people to protest. More importantly it takes away from the people who broke through years of oppressive authoritarian rule to demand their rights.

Tweets from the revolution @3arabawy | Hossam @shadihamid I’m not expecting a revolution today. I’m expecting protests. So let’s not shoot high so as not to disappoint people later. 25 January @TravellerW | Mohamed El Dahshan Police throws rocks @ drmonstrtrs while we raised our arms. W’re unarmed, they’re in full gear. We are strong, they’re weak. #25jan #Egypt 25 January @Packafy | Pakinam Ahmed after 2 days of protesting, tear gas is like fresh air, rubber bullets are like raindrops, sticks r like thai massage... 27 January @Gsquare86 | Gigi Ibrahim The government have blocked everything because they are soo afraid, but the people are not and will not give up!! 29 January @adamakary | Adam Makary #25 protester’s demands: increase minimum wage, dismissal of interior ministry, removal of emergency law, shorten presidential term 25 January 2011

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in ’n Lourensa Eckard

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INTERNASIONAAL

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Evans Nyasha Manyonga

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INTERNATIONAL

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Foto: GETTY IMAGES

M

EDER van

die media

Joshua Carstens

T

In Mei vanjaar het die mediamagnaat Oprah Winfrey haar suksesvolle kletsprogram na 25 jaar beëindig om op haar eie televisienetwerk, The Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN), te fokus. Maar wat was Oprah se invloed op die mediabedryf?

oe Oprah Winfrey tydens die eerste episode van The Oprah Winfrey Show op 8 September 1986 gesê het haar program gaan oor gewone mense se struikelblokke het kritici dit as “belaglik” afgemaak en voorspel sy gaan nie lank in die bedryf wees nie. Vandag, 25 jaar later, het Oprah ’n revolusie in die mediabedryf veroorsaak wat min kan naboots. Haar mediaryk sluit verskeie televisie-, film-, druk-, internet- en radioplatforms in en Forbes beraam haar totale rykdom op R2,7 miljard. Die nuustydskrif Time het haar al verskeie kere as die invloedrykste mens in die vermaak- en mediabedryf benoem, asook een van die

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magtigste vroue ter wêreld. Ongeveer 50 miljoen Amerikaners het elke week na Oprah se kletsprogram gekyk wat in 145 lande uitgesaai is. Maar alles het egter nie altyd seepglad vir haar verloop nie. Deur die jare het sy ook kritiek gekry en is soms in omstredenheid gedompel. Kletskoningin Van politici en vermaaklikheidsterre tot slagoffers van seksuele geweld het oor die jare hul harte aan Oprah oopgemaak. In 1993 doen sy ’n eksklusiewe onderhoud met die ontslape popster Michael Jackson waarin hy vir die eerste sê sy vel het wit geraak omdat hy aan Vitilogo ly. Oprah het die kuns

vervolmaak om mense “veilig” in onderhoude te laat voel en die akteur Tyler Perry het verlede jaar op haar program erken hy is as kind gemolesteer. Volgens prof. Mina Tsay, ’n kenner van die Boston Universiteit wat die invloed van Oprah op die samelewing bestudeer, is dit juis Oprah se deernis wat haar program van ander kletsprogramme onderskei het. “Oprah het met ’n gehoor gepraat waarop min ander mense gefokus het, maar sy het dit vanuit hul perspektief met empatie en integriteit gedoen.” Die voormalige TV Plus-joernalis en mediakenner Thinus Ferreira stem saam met Tsay. “Sy was die eerste om weg te beweeg van


INTERNASIONAAL die sogenaamde ‘uitbuitende’ aard van kletsprogramme deur nie die gehoor uit te buit nie, maar te help.” Ten spyte van Oprah se deernis het sy oor die jare verskeie wetenskaplikes warm onder die kraag gehad omdat talle nie-wetenskaplike bewerings op haar program gemaak is. Vanaf ongewone raad vir menopouse tot die aktrise Jenny McCarthy wat, ten spyte van oorweldigende wetenskaplike bewyse, beweer het daar is ’n oorsaaklike band tussen inentings vir kinders en outisme, het talle wenkbroue laat lig. In 2009 kritiseer Newsweek haar in ’n voorbladartikel en meen sy bevorder dikwels ongegronde sienings. “Oprah plaas haarself en haar gehoor in die hande van pseudo-wetenskaplikes wat wonderkure voorstel wat partykeer gevaarlik kan wees,” lui die artikel. “Sy het McCarthy geprys, maar het nie ’n dokter of wetenskaplike genooi om aan haar gehoor te verduidelik dat daar baie studies is wat die verband afkeur nie.” In reaksie hierop het die kletskonigin gesê haar doelwit is dat kykers die inligting wat op die program gegee is, met mediese praktisyns bespreek. Media-konvergensie Oprah is egter vir baie meer as net haar kletsprogram bekend. Sy is een van die min mense wat suksesvol verskillende mediaplatforms betree het. In 1996 stig sy Oprah’s Book Club wat die uitgewersbedryf radikaal verander het en verkope van ongeveer 55 miljoen boeke verseker. Sy het ’n leeskultuur verder bevorder toe sy in 2000 haar eie tydskrif, O, The Oprah

Magazine, begin het. Die tydskrif het volgens onafhanklike bronne ’n maandelikse sirkulasiesyfer van twee miljoen tydskrifte. Volgens die redaktrise van die Suid-Afrikaanse weergawe van O Magazine, Samantha Page, het dié tydskrif ’n gaping in die mark gevul. “O Magazine is ’n leefstyl-tydskrif waarby vroue aanklank gevind het. Die effek van hierdie revolusie was dat ’n oormaat van tydskrifte dié redaksionele formule gebruik het,” sê Page. Ferreira meen egter dis nie gunstig vir een persoon om soveel mag in die media te hê nie. “Ek dink dit is dalk te gevaarlik om net een magtige mens van hierdie portuur te hê,” sê hy. Kultuur Rashid Begg, ’n Sosiologiedosent by die Universiteit Stellenbosch, meen Oprah se invloed het mettertyd tot ver buite die mediabedryf uitgekring en sê sy het beslis massa-kultuur en die samelewing beïnvloed. “Sy het media- en bemarkingskenners op haar span gehad wat gedurig hulle vingers op die pols gehou het soos die medialandskap verander het,” meen Begg. Kathryn Lofton, ’n professor van Yale Universiteit wat die boek Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon geskryf het, sê dit is belangrik om krities oor Oprah se raad te dink. “Sy gebruik haarself as ’n ‘templaat’ waarteen sy die morele integriteit van die land meet. Sy is eintlik ’n byderwetse en materialistiese Moeder Teresa,” meen Lofton. Gedurende die 2008-verkiesing in die VSA het Oprah haar mag tot die politiek gewend en openlik vir Barack Obama tydens verkiesingsametrekke gesteun. Kenners reken sy het hom ongeveer een miljoen stemme besorg.

“Dit het haar van haar mag gekos omdat sy iets aanbeveel het waarvan nie al haar aanhangers gehou het nie,” sê Ferreira. Maar Oprah het haar mag ook gebruik om positiewe sake te bevorder. In Desember 1993 word die “Oprah Wet”, oftewel die Nasionale Kinderbeskermingswet, deur die destydse president, Bill Clinton geteken en haar liefdadigheidsorganisasie, The Angel Network, het met Oprah se hulp miljoene aan liefdadigheid geskenk. Volgens haar produksiemaatskappy het sy al meer as 64 000 kinders wêreldwyd van ’n skoolopvoeding voorsien en in 2007 bou sy haar eie skool in Suid-Afrika. Die Universiteit van die Vrystaat het haar in Junie vanjaar met ’n eredoktorsgraad in Opvoedkunde vereer. Toekoms Noudat Oprah haar kletsprogram beëindig het, is daar bespiegelings of haar invloed gaan afneem. Die aanvanklike syfers vir OWN is baie teleurstellend en die aantal besoekers aan haar webtuiste het ook gedaal. “Kyksyfers sukkel omdat daar nog nie genoeg elemente van die Oprah-handelsmerk was nie aangesien sy nog op die produksie van haar eie program was. Sy het haarself nou as die uitvoerende beampte van OWN aangestel,” sê Ferreira. Oprah het vroeër vanjaar gesê sy is nie moedeloos oor OWN se kyksyfers nie. “Almal in die kabeltelevisiebedryf het vir my gesê dit gaan drie jaar vat, maar ek sien elke uitdaging as ’n geleentheid,” het sy gesê. En uitdagings is niks nuut vir Oprah nie. Vir 25 jaar het sy immers verskeie struikelblokke oorkom. Dít sal waarskynlik haar belangrikste nalatenskap wees.

Die Oprah-gesin Dr. Oz

Foto’s: ABC, Sony Pictures, OWN, CBS

Ná Dr. Oz se eerste verskyning op Oprah het hy bekendheid verwerf as Amerika se “gunsteling-dokter”. Hy het sy eie program, The Dr Oz Show.

Nate Berkus Nate is bekend as dié binnehuisversierder. Hy het telkens op Oprah verskyn en het tans sy eie kletsprogram, The Nate Berkus Show.

Gayle King Gayle King is Oprah se beste vriendin en het baie op haar program verskyn. Sy het haar eie program op OWN, The Gayle King Show.

Dr. Phil Dr. Phil is in 1998 die eerste keer op Oprah. In 2002 help sy hom om sy eie program, The Dr Phil Show, te begin wat vanuit die staanspoor ’n sukses is.

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Gerrit Schaafsma

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MEDIA TRENDS

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Christiaan van der Merwe 34 | SMF 2011

Has the phone hacking scandal surrounding the News of the World ďŹ nally brought an end to the reign of the world’s last true media tycoon? Who is Rupert Murdoch, how did he come to dominate the supply of news and will he weather the storm?


MEDIA TRENDS

SMF 2011 | 35


breathing LIFE into

Siyavuya Madikane

Broadcasting rights are the life-blood on which sport not only survives but thrives. What, then, does the state of the South African media mean for the country’s most popular sport: football? And what is the future of sport journalism?

38 | SMF 2011

T

football

he biggest sporting code in South Africa by numbers over the last couple of decades has been football. Although things have always looked good on the pitch, the television product that was put out for fans at home has not always been up to scratch.

Jazzing up broadcasting Today things are different. Football is big business in South Africa. The ABSA sponsorship of the Premier Soccer League is reportedly worth more than R500 million, the Nedbank Cup winners take home R6 million and some players earn more than R100 000 a month. This is big money, indeed, and broadcasting is at the centre of it all. “I do not know if Supersport jazzed up football but anyone who brought something new was always going to be a winner. People were tired of the SABC which showed the same tired games with the same tired pictures and tired presenters,” says experienced football journalist and

Supersport commentator Mark Gleeson. Supersport has been credited with growing the quality of football broadcasting in South Africa, while taking care of hosting duties for the Football World Cup in 2010 also contributed. Speaking at the Sport & Tourism Exchange Conference (SETE) in Cape Town in July, sport research guru and commercial rights expert Dave Sidenburg praised the strides that have been taken since the World Cup. “Before 2010, Bafana Bafana games were averaging audiences of 2.5 million television viewers per game. During the World Cup this increased to between ten million and twelve million viewers a game. After the World Cup we saw a decrease again, but the figures remained above the pre-World Cup figures,” he said. A new deal This growth saw the Premier Soccer League (PSL) and Supersport sign an improved broadcasting deal that, according to their respective


MEDIA TRENDS

websites, is worth “well over” R2 billion. The duration of the deal is five years and, most importantly for the future, includes both mobile and internet rights. “We need to be clear that it was not just the money that influenced us but we looked at the growth and enhancement of the product on our current deal where we moved from 30th ranked league in the world to 10th,” said PSL chairman Irvin Khoza after the deal was concluded. Sidenburg emphasised the role that broadcasters play in the development of football by giving two related examples: “There is a correlation between sponsorship and broadcasters. The Supersport deal has meant that PSL clubs are getting in excess of R1 million a month in grants. The broadcasting deal with Supersport has unlocked the value of the league which has seen more sponsorship coming into the league. Even the so-called National Second Division clubs are getting more money than they have ever received before. Although others argue that this is still too little, it certainly is a great improvement.” Fix the CAF He lambasted the continent’s football governing body, the Confederation of African Football (CAF), for holding back the development of the game in the rest of the continent. “CAF sold their rights to a French company called SportFive. This means that none of the money stays with the local football associations. We now have a situation whereby the African Cup of Nations (AFCON) tournament is coming up in January and some of the national associations will be saying they cannot afford to buy the television rights to showcase their national teams in their own countries. Until we get on top of CAF, African football cannot grow,” said the football research expert. George Dearnaley, former Bafana Bafana player and current Editorial Director for Amakhosi Football Magazine, also shares the same views on broadcasting. “Supersport has revolutionised coverage of local soccer. With competition among broadcasters, everyone is trying to be better — this is healthy for the game, healthy for the presentation,” he says. Broadcast media have moved the game forward by bringing it closer to its audience, according to Dearnaley. “Young players around the world can watch and learn from the best teams and best players, and watch it over and over again as they try to learn the skills. In the past, without extensive TV coverage, you could

only learn from actually trying things on the field. At the same time, there are no more ‘secrets’ on the field — because of all the analysis, slow-motion replays and extensive coverage, players and coaches can better prepare to play against the best players and best teams.” Improved analysis According to the legend, who some call “The Shark” for his eccentric celebrating style during his playing days, sports journalists have played an integral part in growing the game by giving better analysis. “The coverage is a lot more professional, more accurate. In the days before SS4 (Supersport channel) local matches often had incorrect facts published in the papers, wrong goal scorers, surnames spelt incorrectly — this has all improved dramatically. Players are more visible and there is a lot more daily info on the players and the teams.” While others have questioned the use of former football players for match-day analysis, Dearnaley does not see this as an issue. “I believe you need a combination. Explayers can give valuable insight into the intricacies of the game, things that an amateur will never know or even understand. But ex-players are not all very good at communication and they come with their own bias depending on what teams they have played for.”

still thinks journalists have a role to play beyond television. “Journalists are key role-players to our business. Football is still the number one sport in South Africa and they promote the game as there are still people who do not have access to TV and depend on print and radio media.” With all the improvements that are taking place as a result of broadcasting, it seems like South African football is on the rise. Unfortunately, having recently failed to qualify for the upcoming AFCON, the country’s football community needs to refocus on what matters most — playing winning football.

The Premier League now Altaaf Kazi, former broadcastjournalist and PSL General Manager for PR and Media Relations, gives insight into the way that broadcasting deals operate. “We have a rule that broadcasters have to at least show a minimum of six home matches per PSL team. Broadcasters will show all or the majority of the matches involving Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns, as they bring in the most viewership. It doesn’t affect standard of play,” he argues. Although he agrees that football has changed as a result of television broadcasting, he SMF 2011 | 39


Nomaswazi Nkosi

TE L E V I S I O N?

Is the end of TV as we know it imminent? Technologies that pop up every year to make viewing better just might eclipse the television set. Television lovers’ viewing habits could be altered forever. And the internet looks like the strongest contender to dethrone the tube.

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END

T H E O F

T

he television has stood in living rooms for decades and has enjoyed being the focal point around which every other piece of furniture is arranged. It has been able to keep up with the times, evolving from the clunky 1950’s box to the flat-screen so popular today. However, recent technological advances in other areas are for the first time threatening to outstrip the champion of home entertainment which should make couch potatoes sit up. The IBM Institute for Business Value (IBM) sums up the situation as follows: “With increasing competition from convergence players in TV, telecommunications and the internet, the industry is confronting unparalleled levels of

complexity, dynamic change and pressure to innovate.” In other words, TV needs to find a way to adapt to the changing environment in order to stay relevant in the new digital age. IBM issued the epitaph: “Today is the beginning of the end of TV as we know it and the future will only favour those who prepare now.” According to Daily Mail journalist Martin Robinson, one of the founding fathers of the internet, Vince Cerf, predicted the World Wide Web would spell the end of television. “Over the next four years,” writes Robinson, “it is thought that the number of videos watched over the internet will quadruple, with people moving from short clips to hour-long programmes”. Desperate Housewives and Grey’s Anatomy


MEDIA TRENDS PHOTO: iSTOCKiMAGES

have been two of the most popular television shows in recent years. Both achieved enormous critical and commercial success. According to the website tvbythenumbers.com, Desperate Housewives had an average viewership of 23.7 million viewers in its first season. In its seventh season, the show had slumped to an average of 11.9 million viewers. It has been announced that the eighth season of the show will be its last. Grey’s Anatomy has also experienced a drop in ratings. The average viewership in its seventh season was 11.4 million, a significant drop from 18.5 million in its first season. This may not necessarily imply television will suddenly become obsolete, but changes in the way people obtain entertainment content has eliminated the need to watch a show immediately when it airs on TV. Is the internet the new TV? According to southafrica.com, TV sales have risen over the last decade with TV ownership rising from 54% in 2001 to 66% in 2007. The internet though, has risen along with it and is now in a position to really rock the boat. For one thing, the internet enables piracy, which is the most immediate threat to TV. “Since mid-2010, when uncapped ADSL internet was made much more affordable, we have had a decline of about 50% in our DVD rental business due to piracy and the internet,” says Kobus Joubert, owner of Multimedia Entertainment. “I cannot foresee more than one DVD rental store per town.” Robinson, in his article, further states that critics questioned Cerf ’s assertion about the rise of the internet, due to the time it would take millions of people around the world to download all the content they wanted. But they were wrong and Cerf was right. Consumers now no longer need to resort to piracy as they start dictating the market, demanding more control over what they watch and when they watch it. In the UK, film studios Warner Bros, Paramount, Universal and Miramax are starting to rent out their movies on Facebook to “seize the shift in UK viewing habits”, reports Daily Mail journalist Martin Robinson. A film or show is rented using the Facebook credit system and must be viewed within thirty days and within 48 hours once started. Miramax studios posted on their official site about their partnership with Facebook, saying: “Our ultimate goal is to give consumers the opportunity to buy films and store them in their own cloud-based digital locker to then

access the content anywhere they want, across all devices.” This means these programmes can be viewed on smartphones, any PC, iPad and so on. Innovations that are seducing the TV viewer away from the box are increasing and now the studios are embracing them too. Mike Saunders, the CEO of DigitLab, agrees. “As people can use the internet to access the content they choose, they will become less reliant on TV to create programmes of entertainment,” he says. Futurist, Doug Vining, seconds the prediction, stating that once high bandwidth becomes ubiquitous and virtually free, watching video on mobile devices will be more convenient and allow users greater freedom. He adds his own prediction: “Downloads of popular series and movies will increase until it is as commonplace as downloading iTunes music. Ultimately this will reduce demand for regular programming and broadcast models, forcing studios and pay TV networks to rethink their business case.” What does this mean for South Africa? In her book Beyond Broadcasting, Jane Duncan writes that only about 8% of South Africans have internet access, excluding mobile access. Even though new innovations will reach South African shores eventually, the bulk of the new technology has not and cannot yet make a significant impact. Meanwhile, TV is still reaching most of the 16-24 year-old demographic meant to be adopting new technologies fastest. One more thing to consider is that for every techno-savvy viewer there are countless more that do not care and are happy with the status quo. IBM states there is a coexistence of two types of users: “While one consumer segment remains largely passive in the living room, the other will force radical change in business models in search for anytime, anywhere-content through multiple channels.” Despite the notion that people want access to specific content as and when they choose, “TV content is more popular than ever with consumers…total TV consumption has continued to grow”. Lauren Zaloznick , US TV executive, says the average American watches TV for almost five hours a day. This is a lot of time spent in front of something they say is in decline. She added during her TEDx talk, which is available on ted.com, that television has been able to evolve over the years due to the fact that it continues to entertain people and because people love to be entertained. Whether it can still really lay sole claim to this, we will have to wait and see.

The student view Is owning a TV still necessary?

Vicky Julius “TVs are needed. There is an atmosphere around watching a TV that a laptop cannot duplicate.”

Celeste Cloete “Yes, of course! TV is the life of my family.”

Would you wait a week to watch an episode of a show?

Sinethemba Mchunu “No, I wouldn’t wait if I didn’t have to. I’d rather get it over and done with.”

Floyd Chawane “I never wait a week for a show. I practically watch a whole season in a day.”

SMF 2011 | 41


Natasha van Wyk

1800s

Carol Szathmari (1812–1887) is considered to be one of the first combat photojournalists. The Romanian artist docmented the Crimean War (1853-1856) fought between Russia and Turkey, and through his photographs the public received brand-new insights into the conditions on the front lines.

1930s

The Golden Age

When the 35 mm camera lens was developed, the “Golden Age” of photojournalism was born. These cameras were small enough to be carried around, Life (USA), which meant more Paris Match (Paris) aspiring photoand Sports Illustrated journalists took (USA) magazines as well as to the field. The newspapers The Daily Mirror once elitist pro(London) and The New York Daily News (New York) built their refession became putations by being some of the less specialised first publications to include as more photos photographs during this from various time. photographers were published worldwide.

Fa s

Where it began...

Before this, wars were somewhat romanticised and seen mostly in drawings. As printing presses improved mechanically, photographs could be directly published in publications without an engraver as middle man.

acts F t

Mandela’s 1990s Release The Bang Bang This photograph, taken Club

by Zimbabwean-born photographer Alexander Joe, shows the newly released Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela as he walks from the Victor Verster prison with his wife at the time, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. He was released on 11 February 1990 after spending 27 years in prison.

c Fa

ts

Van der Berg remembers the day: “At first I got a fright, but started taking photos immediately because I knew it was something the world has to see. Later, when I looked at the photos, I shuddered. Andries Tatane (33) was one of 4 000 protestors who took to the streets on 13 What happened to Andries April to march against poor service delivery in Ficksburg. Police entered the makes me angry and scene, warding off protestors with water cannons and violence soon erupted. Freediscouraged.”

Fas t

2011 Ficksburg and Andries Tatane

Kevin Carter, Greg Marinovich, Ken Oosterbroek, and João Silva were the four most wellknown members of the socalled “Bang Bang Club”. Together they documented the period between the release of Mandela to the first democratic South African elections in 1994. Greg Marinovich took this photograph in Soweto showing Lindsaye Tshabalala set alight and being hacked with a machete by an African National Congress (ANC) supporter. During the ANC-Inkatha violence preceding the 1994 elections, more than 3 000 people died. The photo was part of a Pulitzer Prize-winning series in 1991.

lance photographer Willem van der Berg took a series of photographs of Tatane being beaten by police and collapsing shortly after. YouTube videos show six policemen brutally beating an unarmed Tatane. He was shot twice in the chest with rubber bullets. This photograph shows him being held by his friend Molefe Nonyane. Tatane later died on the scene. The tragedy raised serious questions over police brutality in South Africa.

As Technology Improved...

1936

1953

1965

The evolution of cameras from the 35 mm film cameras in the 1930s to modern day digital ones. 42 | SMF 2011

EXTRA SOURCES: PHOTOGRAPHY.LOVETOKNOW.COM, WIKIPEDIA, JMCEDUCATION.BLOGSPOT.COM, JURGENSCHADEBERG.COM, ALEXJOE.COM, EHOW.COM


MEDIA TRENDS

1950s & 60s

Fast Fa ct s Schade-

Berlin-born photographer Jürgen Schadeberg took this picture of the mass funeral held for victims of the Sharpeville massacre in 1960. Police opened fire on demonstrators protesting against pass laws for black citizens in apartheid South Africa. 69 people were killed.

The Sharpeville Massacre

berg was the chief photographer and Picture Editor of Drum magazine in the 1950s. He took many pictures to portray the lives of South African minorities at that time. He is sometimes referred to as “the father of South African photography”.

Kevin Carter took this photograph of a starving girl being closely watched by a vulture as she crawls to the United Nations food tents. It was taken in Sudan in 1993 during one of their worst famines. Carter committed suicide in July 1994, mere months after the photograph won the Pulitzer Prize. No one knows what happened to the child.

That World Cup 1995

In this photograph, then-President Nelson Mandela congratulates rugby captain François Pienaar and hands over the World Cup trophy. The 1995 Rugby World Cup was used by Mandela to unify a country haunted by apartheid. Mandela walked onto the field wearing the captain’s number six jersey.

The Present

Fas t

John Carlin writes in UK newspaper The Telegraph on this moment: “As he prepared to hand over the cup to his captain, he said: ‘Francois, thank you for what you have done for our country.’ Pienaar, with extraordinary presence of mind, replied: ‘No, Mr President. Thank you for what you have done.’”

With the rise of the digital age and smartphones, and the global domination of social networks, citizen journalism is the way forward. With information literally a click away, the effortless manner in which it can be shared has widened the scope for all members of society to make a journalistic contribution at some point in their lifetime.

1979

1982

cts Currently: a F There are 500 million

phones in Africa. 3% of Africans own a smartphone. Nearly 93% of South Africans have a mobile subscription. Nearly 4 million South Africans are on Facebook, 75% of which are under 34 years of age. Sharing ideas and photos has never been easier.

2003

Photojournalism in practice Johann van Tonder has worked at Associated Press as a photojournalist and currently he is an internet strategist for Naspers Limited. He started supplying local newspapers with his own photographs while still at university. What makes or breaks a photograph? The ability to connect to a subject, which will also help you connect to the viewer. That’s not as easy as it sounds. Capturing and evoking emotion are key elements. The photographer needs to study human behaviour. What has been your most memorable moment? I often think back to those moments so incredibly close to Nelson Mandela, the value of which I didn’t actually appreciate at the time. One Sunday afternoon I was one of four journalists in his lounge. His butler served us all tea. What is the most difficult part about the job? I sometimes found it difficult to cope with seeing close-up human suffering. I could photograph people being killed in front of me, no problem, but I’d crack up photographing a hungry, lonely or sick child. Now I’m able to just avoid it, but as photojournalist you are being confronted with it in a very real way. How do you feel about the evolution of photojournalism? Nowadays, it’s very easy to get published if you count online. The iStock-phenomenon is to photojournalism what Wikipedia is to Brittanica. Tools are accessible to everyone. Everyone with a cellphone is a photojournalist. That’s not a bad thing; I’ve been involved in training programs to encourage that. The role of the specialist is moving from the field into the area of decision-making.

2009

EXTRA SOURCES: GREGMARINOVICH.PHOTOSHELTER.COM, TELEGRAPH.CO.UK, AFROGRAPHIQUE.TUMBLR.COM, CANON.COM/CAMERA-MUSEUM

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>>>

Mia Spies

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WETENSKAP&TEGNOLOGIE

A

s jy verlede jaar vir die deursnee SuidAfrikaner gevra het wat “fracking” beteken, het hulle jou waarskynlik skeef aangekyk. Maar die afgelope paar maande is daar soveel oor hidroliese breking (die mooi Afrikaans vir “fracking”) in die media geskryf dat die meeste Suid-Afrikaners weet van die herrie oor Shell se planne om gas-prospektering in die Karoo te doen. Die publiek weet nou dat hidroliese breking die Karoo se landbou en grondwater kan benadeel en ’n groot invloed op die plaaslike gemeenskappe kan hê. Hoewel die regering nog nie finaal besluit het of Shell en ander oliemaatskappye met hul planne vir gas-prospektering in die omgewing kan voortgaan nie, het dié opspraakwekkende saak gehelp om omgewingskwessies in die kollig te plaas — maar eers nadat ’n paar gróót name hul stemme by die proteskoor gevoeg het. Die betrokkenheid van hoë-profiel bekendes soos die plaaslike sakeleier dr. Johann Rupert, prinses Irene van Nederland (wat ’n plaas in die Karoo besit), die aktrise Antoinette Pienaar en die swemmer en omgewingsaktivis Lewis Pugh het mense regop laat sit en die media het gevolglik breedvoerig oor hidroliese breking berig. Pugh het hom vroeër vanjaar tydens ’n toespraak in Kaapstad sterk teen Shell se planne uitgespreek. Die saak lê hom baie na aan die hart omdat sy familie reeds vir 200 jaar in die Karoo boer. “Ek wil nie sien hoe dié pragtige deel van die land verwoes word en die kosbare water besmet word nie,” het hy gesê. Pugh glo plaaslike mediaberigte oor hidroliese breking is deel van ’n tendens om meer aandag aan omgewingsake te gee. “Meer bekendes moet hul gewig agter omgewingsverslaggewing gooi, want dit trek baie aandag na dié onderwerpe,” sê hy. Maar bekendes moet dit doen omdat hulle werklik vir die natuur omgee en slegs as hulle goed ingelig is, waarsku Pugh. Wêreldwyd het die betrokkenheid van bekendes ’n groot invloed op omgewingskwessies soos hidroliese breking. Internasionale sterre soos Angelina Jolie bevorder omgewings en humanitêre kwes-

sies aktief. Haar projekte om kinders in Afrika te voed en armoede te beveg, het baie mense aangespoor om self betrokke te raak. Die Hollywood-akteur Leonardo Dicaprico se stigting vir diereregte en volhoubare lewenshet ook baie geld vir “groen kwessies” ingesamel. Op eie bodem lewer ons ook verskeie “groen”-bekendes op. Die plaaslike televisiepersoonlikheid en veteraan-joernalis Ruda Landman glo bekende mense se bydrae om aandag op aktuele kwessies te vestig, is baie waardevol. Sy noem die voorbeeld van prinses Diana se besoek aan Angola in 1997 wat die wêreld se aandag op die probleem van landmyne in dié Afrika-land gevestig het. Ná Diana se besoek het tydskrifte en koerante breedvoerig berig oor die tol wat landmyne eis en dit het uiteindelik ’n verskil gemaak. Deur in ’n koerantopskrif ’n vooraanstaande sakeman soos Rupert se naam aan ’n omgewingskwessie te koppel, trek ’n nuusstorie meer aandag en kry dit dalk ’n groter gehoor, sê Landman. “Hidroliese breking het internasionaal begin opslae maak nadat mense soos Rupert daaroor gepraat het.” In Suid-Afrika is daar ’n paar spesialiteitstelevisieprogramme wat gereeld voorbrand vir omgewingskwessies maak, en deur die jare het Carte Blanche en 50/50 byvoorbeeld gehelp om kykers se oë te laat oopgaan. Dave Pepler, wat bekend is as aanbieder van die omgewingsprogram Groen op kykNet, meen mediadekking oor Shell se ontginningsplanne in die Karoo het ’n verskil gemaak. “Die fracking-kwessie het na vore gekom toe daar ’n nuus-droogte was en dit het dus meer trefkrag gehad,” meen Pepler. Volgens hom moet Suid-Afrikaanse publikasies die voorbeeld van internasionale koerante soos The Guardian volg en artikels oor omgewingskwessies baie prominent op die voorblaaie plaas. “Die media maak ’n fundamentele verskil. Dis net jammer die publikasies wat Omgewingsjoernalistiek ernstig opneem in die minderheid is,” sê Pepler.

Beeld se omgewingsverslaggewer, Elise Tempelhoff, glo die media moet help om mense oor hul impak op die omgewing in te lig en dat verbruikspatrone soos dit tans daarna uitsien nie volhoubaar is nie. “Omgewingsverslaggewing gaan oor baie meer as natuurstories. Dit gaan oor abstrakte, maar noodsaaklike begrippe, soos ‘sterflikheid’, ‘etiek’ en ‘integriteit’. Maar ook oor hebsug en eiegewin,” sê Tempelhoff. “Ons planeet se hulpbronne is besig is om op te raak en dis uiters wreed dat ons spesies verloor.” Tempelhoff meen mediaberigte maak mense bewus van hul impak op die omgewing en hulle dink anders oor kwessies soos hidroliese breking, renosterstropery en klimaatsverandering. “Alles wat ons doen in ons lewe is ten nouste met die omgewing verweef en ons lewenskwaliteit hang daarvan af,” sê Tempelhoff. Dit is egter nie net tradisionele media wat omgewingskwessies op die voorgrond laat tree nie; die internet speel ook ’n rol in hoe mense deesdae van omgewingskwessies kennis neem. The Green Times, ’n webtuiste wat in 2008 deur die omgewingsjoernalis Elma Pollard begin is, is ’n tekenende voorbeeld hiervan. Pollard fokus al die afgelope 21 jaar op omgewingsverslaggewing en voel dat tradisionele media omgewingsake “gruwelik” afskeep. “Ek hoop net dat die groot mediamaatskappye in die land sal bykom. Ons moet mense opvoed oor kwessies soos energie en water en alle aspekte van die ‘vergroening’ van die samelewing,” sê Pollard. Sy stem saam met Landman dat bekende mense stukrag gee om mense oor omgewingskwessies op te voed. Sy glo mense ly aan ’n sogenaamde “skaapmentaliteit” en sal gevolglik doen wat bekendes doen. “Dit sal wel help as hulle meer betrokke raak en ’n goeie voorbeeld stel. Hulle het nou maar eenmaal mag oor die massas,” sê Pollard. “Dit is slegs wanneer die omgewing sy regmatige plek op die voorblad van elke koerant kry, dat ons kan begin hoop op ’n toekoms vir almal van ons.”

Ruda Landman

Ja, dis baie goed dat dit mode word want die mens as spesie moet sy impak op die planeet waarop ons lewe besef

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Estée de Villiers

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Misleidende opskrifte. Ongegronde “bewyse” en teenstrydige wenke. Die media verskaf ‘n hutspot van gesondheidsraad wat nie altyd tot voordeel van die leserspubliek strek nie. Wat is die media se verantwoordelikheid en behoort Gesondheisjoernalistiek “spesiale” aandag te kry?


WETENSKAP&TEGNOLOGIE

I

n ’n onlangse artikel in Time skryf dr. Mehmet Oz elke mens behoort elke dag ’n glas rooiwyn te drink. Dít en kossoorte soos volroommelk, sjokolade en kaas is gesond as dit matig gebruik word. Deur die term “matigheid” te gebruik, kan bykans enige kos “gesond” wees. Die beginsel van Paracelsus (dat die dosis waarin iets ingeneem word, bepaal of dit giftig is of nie) word volop in die media voorgehou. Tik gerus die woord “sjokolade” in Health24 se soekenjin in. Duisende artikels met opskrifte soos “Dark chocolate beats stress” en “Chocolate makes bones flaky” verskyn onmiddellik op die skerm. Met teenstrydige boodskappe soos dié is dit moeilik om die werklike voor- en nadele van sjokolade te bepaal. Hierdie is slegs een voorbeeld van die teenstrydige gesondheidsinligting waarmee gebruikers van die media elke dag gekonfronteer word. Volgens die Suid-Afrikaanse Mediese Navorsingsraad is sowat 29% van die land se mans en 56% van vroue óf oorgewig óf ly aan vetsug. Die vraag is dus: Doen die media genoeg om die publiek te bemagtig om ’n gesonde lewenstyl te handhaaf? Ja én nee meen Carine Visagie, ’n gesondheidsjoernalis en die voormalige inhoudredakteur van Health24. Volgens haar is daar ’n paar tydskrifte en webtuistes wat goeie gesondheidsinligting verskaf, maar nie almal het toegang tot dié media nie. “Ek glo egter die toestand van Gesondheidsjoernalistiek het oor die afgelope dekade verbeter,” sê Visagie. “Baie koerante het ’n gesondheidsbylaag en daar is meer verbruiker-titels en webtuistes as ooit tevore. Die inligting is daar en die platforms bestaan.” Die probleem, meen Visagie, is dat die verslaggewing soms oppervlakkig en foutief is. In kleiner nuuskantore het joernaliste dikwels nie genoeg tyd om gesondheidskwessies volledig te ondersoek nie. “Gesondheids-artikels verg aandag en joernaliste moet hul onderwerpe deeglik ondersoek en die regte kenners nader om akkurate artikels te skryf,” sê Visagie. Sy meen gewilder media soos koerante en radiostasies moet meer doen om praktiese gesondheidsinligting te verskaf. Volgens haar moet veral gemeenskapsradiostasies meer betrokke by Gesondheidsjoernalistiek raak. Die skrywer van The Guardian se Bad Science-rubriek, Ben Goldacre, is baie uitgesproke oor die flaters wat gesondheidsjoer-

naliste maak en sê die meeste koerante skryf slegs oor die oorsake en moontlike genesing van kanker. “Dit blyk dat die meerderheid van bewerings in baie Britse koerante deur die swakste moontlike navorsing onderskraag word,” sê hy. Goldacre was vroeër vanjaar by ’n studie betrokke wat bevind het dat 62% van koerantverslaggewing oor gesondheidskwessies op onvoldoende bewyse gegrond is. Soos Visagie sê hy dit is kommerwekkend omdat mense hul besluite skoei op wat hulle in die media gelees of gesien het en dit soms nadelige gevolge kan hê. Wanneer inhoud en advertensies bots Visagie sê die media moet meer verantwoordelik optree omdat hul boodskap ’n direkte impak op die gehoor se lewe maak. “Publikasies moet geld maak, maar hulle kan nie hul integriteit op die spel plaas vir advertensie-inkomste nie. Dit is veral belangrik in Gesondheidsjoernalistiek omdat valse, oordrewe inligting (of inligting wat weerhou word) ’n direkte invloed op die leser se welstand het,” sê Visagie. Harris Steinman, ’n Kaapse verbruikers-aktivis wat die media gedurig fynkam vir misleidende advertensies, sê die meeste gesondheidsgiere (fads) word deur die media aangehits. Steinman het by aktivisme betrokke geraak nadat hy begin ondersoek instel het na die verslankingsmiddel BioSlim. “Die advertensie het heel oortuigend geklink. Dit was eers toe ek na die inhoud van die produk kyk wat ek besef het dit is nie op wetenskaplike beginsels gegrond nie.” Hy meen sulke misleidende advertensies het dikwels ’n groot invloed op verbruikers. “Dit maak nie saak wat ’n joernalis skryf as hul publikasie advertensies plaas vir produkte wat ʼn verneukery is nie,” sê hy. “Dit is soos om ’n artikel oor die neweeffekte van kokaïen te publiseer en terselfdertyd ʼn advertensie te plaas wat beweer hoe wonderlik die dwelm vir ’n mens kan wees.” Prof. Roy Jobson van Rhodes Universiteit se Apteekwesefakulteit vaar veral uit teen die verslankingsproduk Bio-Strath. Hy sê advertensies vir dié produk maak stellings wat nie op wetenskaplike feite gegrond is nie en is selfs by die storielyn van die gewilde sepie 7de Laan ingewerk. Jobson het vanjaar ’n klag by die Broadcasting Complaints Commission of South Africa (BCCSA) aanhangig gemaak. “Dit is baie onverantwoordelik om ’n produk wat as medisyne geklassifiseer kan word só te

Belaglike gesondheidsopskrifte in die media “How using Facebook could raise your risk of cancer.” In dié Daily Mail-storie word beweer dat Facebook en ander sosiale netwerke ’n mens se risiko vir kanker kan verhoog omdat mense minder aktief en sosiaal is. “Multitasking makes you fat,” ’n Men’s Health-artikel wat aanvoer dat ’n mens op een ding op ‘n slag moet fokus, anders gaan die vetrolletjies aanpak. “Man flu: it really does exist, girls,” sê die Britse-koerant Daily Star oor mans wat glo meer as vroue siek raak. “Magnetic bandages can help wounds heal faster,” beweer nóg ’n Britse koerant die Daily Mail in verband met ’n magnetiese armband wat mense se wonde blykbaar vinniger laat genees. “Danger from just 7 cups of coffee a day.” Dié opskrif van die Express on Wednesday klink dalk nie so erg nie, maar dan volg die res: “Too much coffee can make you hallucinate and sense dead people say sleep experts. The equivalent of just seven cups of instant coffee a day is enough to trigger the weird responses.” “Don’t stand too close to the tumble dryer” sê ’n artikel op die Suid-Afrikaanse nuuswebtuiste IOL. Die artikel sê: “Scented laundry products could be releasing cancer-causing chemicals when clothes are tumble dried, research suggests.” “MENTAL illness is the latest fashion accessory for teenagers, a survey revealed today” is ’n The Mirror-opskrif wat deur Ben Goldacre as baie onverantwoordelik uitgewys word.

SMF 2011 | 47


bemark. Die bemarking maak bewerings wat nog nie bewys kon word nie,” sê Jobson. Die BCCSA het egter sy klagte afgekeur omdat 7de Laan fiksie is en omdat niemand by SABC2 of by dié sepie glo vir die produk se verskyning betaal is nie. Jobson meen dat ’n proses ingestel moet word waartydens die kwaliteit van sulke produkte nagesien word en is tans besig om druk op die Independent Communication Authority of South Africa (ICASA) te plaas om regulasies in plek te stel. Hy vind dit ook skokkend dat redakteurs en advertensiebestuurders dikwels nie nou saamwerk nie en dat kwaksalwery soms in advertensies voorkom. “Daar moet bewyse wees vir die bewerings wat mense maak. Die media moet die vervaardigers namens die publiek aanspreeklik hou,” sê hy. Opleiding Jobson, wat in die Gesondheidsjoernalistiekmodule van Rhodes Universiteit ’n gasspreker was, meen joernalistiekstudente moet opgelei word om wetenskaplike verslae, sowel as advertensies, krities te ontleed. Hy verwys veral na alternatiewe medisyne wat soms meer natuurlike produkte bevat, maar dikwels nie aan dieselfde wetlike vereistes hoef te voldoen nie. “Een probleem is dat joernaliste geleer word om beide kante van die storie te skryf. Dit beteken dat kenners sowél as kwaksalwers dieselfde ruimte kry om hul mening te lug,” sê Jobson. Steinman stem saam met Jobson en sê baie gesondheidsjoernaliste het dikwels nie genoeg agtergrondkennis nie. Volgens hom moet meer kenners by die proses betrokke raak om die inligting na te gaan. Verandering word aangemoedig Die lewensversekeringsmaatskappy

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Discovery het vanjaar hul derde jaarlikse Discovery Health Journalism Excellence-toekennings aangebied. Volgens Tawana Kupe, ’n professor by die Universiteit van die Witwatersrand en die moderator van die beoordelaars vir dié toekennings, is die kompetisie daarop gemik om deeglike verslaggewing aan te moedig. Mari Hudson, een van verlede jaar se wenners en ’n joernalis by die gesondheidstydskrif, What’s New Doc, sê die sensasie-wgedrewe media doen nie genoeg om die publiek te bemagtig om gesond te lewe nie. “Koerante en die uitsaaiwese hou van nuusstories oor haglike omstandighede, mediese foute wat ontbloot word, uitbuiting of ʼn reuse suksesverhaal. Is dit goeie Gesondheidsjoernalstiek? Sekerlik. Wen dit pryse? Sekerlik. Trek dit aandag? Beslis. Bemagtig dit die publiek om gesonder te lewe? Ek weet nie, maar ek dink nie so nie,” sê sy. Volgens haar word Gesondheidsjoernalistiek dieselfde as ander vertakkinge van die Joernalistiek benader, terwyl dit eintlik “spesiale” aandag moet kry omdat die artikels meer agtergrondkennis verg. “Veral die jonger joernaliste se algemene kennis is power en hulle dink Facebook en Google is die allerbeste bronne van inligting. “Hulle weet nie meer hoe om onderhoude te voer nie. Hoe wil hulle begrippe aan lesers oordra as hulle dit self nie eers verstaan nie?” Sy meen die groot kykerstal van die SABC3program Hello Doctor en die groot aantal besoekers van Health24 (sowat 35 000 per weekdag) wys daar is ’n aanvraag na gesondheidsnuus van gehalte. As dit die toestand van Gesondheidsjoernalistiek is, is dit dalk tyd vir ’n revolusie. Dalk kan dié eenvoudige, dog treffende aanhaling van die kunstenaar Paul Cézanne as aansporing dien: “The day is coming when a single carrot, freshly observed, will set off a revolution.”

“Dit is soos om ’n artikel oor die newe-effek van kokaïen te publiseer en terselfdertyd ʼn advertensie te plaas wat beweer hoe wonderlik die dwelm vir ’n mens kan wees.”


solution OR fad?

Nico Gous

The government has proposed a National Health Insurance (NHI) scheme to close the gap between public and private healthcare. Alongside this, the advent of smartphones and medical apps are empowering users. Could this mean low-cost medical care?

A

merican Dan Woolley was in Portau-Prince, Haiti during the 2010 earthquake. With a fractured leg and wound to the forehead, his iPhone saved the day. Using the light from his phone screen and a first-aid kit app, Woolley proceeded to treat his injuries with a torn-off shirt sleeve. Woolley used Pocket First Aid & CPR — one of around 8 000 iPhone medical apps currently available. According to MobiHealthNews, the numbers could increase to 13 000 in a year’s time. However, who regulates this information? Are these apps designed and approved by doctors or by money-hungry quacks? New technology has a way of often morphing into something no one expected, which is then seized upon by opportunists. South Africans armed with the correct information could bring about a revolution in medicine, but convincing 80% of black South Africans still consulting sangomas to find assistance elsewhere will take time. What are (medical) apps? Applications (more often called “apps”) are cellphone programmes providing a specific function. Some apps are so standard they are 50 | SMF 2011

called “features” — SMS, your phone’s background and its calculator are all apps. Medical apps focus specifically on providing users with healthcare assistance. Some are used by doctors for consultation, but the bulk consists of referencing tools such as first aid medical kits. Apps are mainly designed for smartphones such as the iPhone, but there are exceptions. One of the most popular apps in South Africa is the instant messenger MXit, which is available for virtually every phone. Most apps are downloaded from the internet — iPhone apps are available from Apple’s App Store, while Android phones have the Marketplace. Cyberchondria Hypochondriacs call up their doctor at the slightest sign of illness. Before their appointment they try to find any information for self-diagnosis, often exaggerating their ailments. Now the internet has brought a new breed of hypochondriac — the “cyberchondriac” — for whom it is easy to obtain vast quantities of medical information online. For all the promise medical apps hold, they might also add fuel to the fire that is the “cyberchondriac”-problem. George Claassen, Science Journalism

Professor at Stellenbosch University, believes apps are the latest technology increasing the speed at which we access information. This new pace, coupled with the growth in information available, leaves a gap for quacks to creep into. “Consumers have to be careful. The saying ‘buyer beware’ is there for a reason,” Claassen warns. Regulation & Controversy Consumers need to act responsibly, but spreading information influencing someone’s life does require a form of regulation. New technology, especially, offers practically limitless opportunity for enterprising and creative individuals to take advantage of. This is evident in the appearance of controversial medical apps with bold, untested claims. Locally, the South African Medicines Control Council (MCC) is seemingly not interested in these matters and is, according to Claassen, a “toothless” organisation. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) agency in America is currently the only body in the world regulating medical apps. Despite taking the lead globally, the FDA only announced on 19 July this year it would start

Photo: ISTOCKPHOTO

Medical Apps:


SCIENCE&TECHNOLOGY

Scan me better

Gay Cure Got a problem with homosexuality? This app claims to cure it.

AcneApp

Is My Son Gay?

A checklist to determine Flashing blue and red lights claim to treat acne. whether your son is gay. Allegedly. Here’s an app version.

drafting legislation. “These are the devices we have been regulating all along and just because they are on a mobile platform doesn’t mean we should be regulating differently,” said Dr Jeffrey Shuren of the FDA. This changed on 9 September. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) in America fined two app developers claiming to be able to cure acne. According to the FTC, developers’ claims were not backed by scientific evidence. “Smartphones make our lives easier in countless ways but unfortunately when it comes to curing acne, there’s no app for that,” stated FTC chairman Jon Leibowitz in a press release. What about Africa and South Africa? Afridoctor was the first medical app created in South Africa. Werner Erasmus and colleagues won Nokia’s Africa Calling All Inventors competition in 2009 with this invention. Erasmus believes there is potential for medical apps, but with limitations. “Taking a picture and sending it for diagnosis can be problematic, because you can get sued if you screw it up. But it’s no problem if you only provide information.” Another issue was the filing systems in state hospitals. Erasmus says they are outdated and still on paper. According to online records, Afridoctor

Ugly Meter

We’ve heard of the hotness ratings. Scan your face on this app and get your rating.

was not subjected to trials by the MCC. On 15 September, MXit announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with American healthcare company Robertson Global Health Solutions. This MOU will integrate the RHealth Advisor mobile web information service into MXit, making the information available to all their users. Herman Heunis, MXit founder and CEO, says: “This is an exciting partnership for us, especially since it speaks directly to our strategy to use mobile social networking to address challenges in the healthcare system.” Providing predominantly younger users with fast healthcare information on this platform could help in emergencies, while HIV/AIDS myths could be dispelled. Africa’s mobile landscape Investment in Africa, especially in telecommunications infrastructure, is bringing greater bandwidth to our shores at lower costs. Undersea fibre-optic cables such as the East African Marine System (EAMS), the East African Submarine Cabling System (EASSy), and SEACOM are all expanding Africa’s bandwidth capabilities. According to the Mobile Africa Report 2011, released by MobileMonday, cellphones overtook

Tawkon

Alleged cellphone radiation damaging your health allows for this sort of app.

landlines in 2000 with South Africa, Nigeria, Kenya, and Ghana making up Africa’s four biggest cellphone markets. Mobile penetration in South Africa is hovering close to 98%. Considering the stark divisions between public and private healthcare and the fact that almost every South African has access to a cellphone, there is a bubble ready for the pricking. Empowered users will not have to waste their doctors’ time with every concern, decreasing the doctor to patient ratio and allowing more time for emergencies and paperwork. Electronic patient filing apps should also be used to smooth along administrative processes, says local doctor Michael Cass. In contrast, Erasmus says the problem with patient filing in South Africa is the sheer mass of paperwork that would have to be digitised. In the end it must be remembered that apps are not a fix-all solution that will replace all that has gone before it. They must be implemented where they can do good, but medical practitioners must remain vigilant. Cass, for example, says the apps he uses are peer-reviewed and only for referencing purposes. “Having a programme with all the formulas makes calculations easier, but you can never solely rely on medical apps.” SMF 2011 | 51


NUWE MEDIA

baan die weg

Michelle van der Spuy

Die toenemende belangrikheid van sosiale en multimedia het tot onherroeplike veranderinge in die media gelei. Die vraag is egter wat die effek hiervan op die tradisionele media gaan wees.

S

osiale en multimedia is nie meer net iets wat die jongspan gebruik om hulself te vermaak nie. Dit het tot ’n inligtingsrevolusie gelei wat die manier waarop ons met die wêreld omgaan heeltemal verander het. Die ure-lange lees van ’n koerant is met ’n vinnige besoek aan ’n aanlynnuusorganisasie vervang. Maar wat is sosiale en multimedia en hoe het dit die landskap van tradisionele media verander? Die nuwe medialandskap Sosiale media soos Twitter en Facebook is web- en selfoongedrewe tegnologie. Dit stel mense van enige plek ter wêreld in staat om met mekaar in verbinding te tree. Multimedia verwys na die groot verskeidenheid platforms wat gebruik word om ’n bepaalde boodskap oor te dra. News24 en Mail&Guardian Online is twee voorbeelde van Suid-Afrikaanse aanlynnuusorganisasies. Daar is egter nog nie eenstem-

52 | SMF 2011

migheid oor die gevolge wat sosiale en multimedia vir Joernalistiek, en veral gedrukte media, kan inhou nie. Die goeie Die digitale mediakenner Alastair Otter sê nuus verskyn eerste op sosiale media en meen mense kan makliker op hoogte van verwikkelinge in stories bly. “Ons hoef nie meer vir nuus te soek nie. Nuus vind ons op sosiale netwerke deur vriende, familie en kollegas. Mense is nou in staat om gebeure te sien terwyl dit gebeur. “Sosiale media maak dit ook moontlik om die perspektiewe van mense aan die ander kant van die planeet te hoor,” sê Otter. Sarietha Engelbrecht, ’n sosiale mediakenner by Naspers-Labs, glo die media gaan nie meer oor die blote verskaffing van inligting nie. “Mense wil kies wat hulle lees. Hulle wil kommentaar lewer. Sosiale media is ’n wonderlike bron en hulpmiddel vir sogenaamde ‘tradisionele joernaliste’,” sê sy. Otter dink dit is belangrik dat nuusorganisasies sosiale media gebruik om met hul lesers te kommunikeer. “Dit sou dwaas wees om sosiale media slegs as ’n verspreidingsmeganisme te beskou.” Engelbrecht voel daar sal ’n tyd aanbreek wanneer mense sosiale en digitale media, eerder as die drukmedia, sal gebruik om die nuus te volg. “Ek maak tans slegs gebruik van die internet en my selfoon om nuus te lees,” sê sy. Dit is veral jongmense wat op dié manier hul nuus kry.


WETENSKAP&TEGNOLOGIE

Sake24 berig 37% van die 1 200 jong leiers wat aan vanjaar se One Young Worldkonferensie in Zürich in Switzerland deelgeneem het, het sosiale media gebruik om op hoogte van die nuus te bly. Meer as 70% van die afgevaardigdes het aangedui hulle sal oor vyf jaar steeds sosiale media gebruik. Volgens Le Roux Schoeman, ’n multimediajoernalis, is die samestelling van ’n multimediastorie anders as die samestelling van ’n berig wat byvoorbeeld in ’n koerant sou verskyn. “Die vraag is nou eerder: Hoe kan ons ’n storie vertel deur meer verhaalkuns-elemente te gebruik?” verduidelik hy. “Ek dink ’n mens kan die geskrewe storie verryk deur video’s, klankgrepe, foto’s en grafika by te voeg. ’n Multimedia-joernalis moet ’n bedrewe fotograaf en kameraman wees en moet ook klank en video kan redigeer,” sê Schoeman. Otter dink die belangrikste voordeel wat multimedia bied, is dat mense nou ’n platform het om hul eie stories te vertel. “Met YouTube en ander multimediawebtuistes kan almal ’n stem hê,” sê hy. Die slegte Sommige kenners reken die gevaar bestaan dat gebruikers van sosiale media ’n punt van oorversadiging kan bereik omdat hulle met nuus “gebombardeer” word. Engelbrecht glo egter nie dit is moontlik nie. “Te veel van ’n goeie ding is ’n slegte ding, maar gelukkig is dit moontlik om jou foon of rekenaar af te sit,” sê sy. Vir haar is dit juis dié aspek waarin digitale media se aantrekkingskrag lê. Die nuus is slegs op aanvraag beskikbaar en gebruikers kan kiés wat hulle wil lees. Otter glo sosiale media het wel negatiewe gevolge vir joernaliste omdat dit onmoontlik is om af te skakel en nié op werk te fokus nie. “Selfs ná werksure is die meeste joernaliste besig om sosiale netwerke te monitor. Daar is geen manier om van die nuus te ontsnap nie,” sê hy. Die toenemende betrokkenheid van gebruikers op sosiale media is ook ’n tweesnyende swaard. Daar is baie voordele aan die interaksie, maar gebruikers kan gerugte en leuens nou baie

vinniger versprei. Die gerug dat oudpres. Nelson Mandela dood is, is byvoorbeeld vroeër vanjaar wyd op sosiale netwerke versprei sonder dat enigiemand bewyse daarvoor gehad het. “Soos met enige ander mediakanaal moet joernaliste dubbeld seker maak van hul feite en verkieslik meer as een bron in ’n storie insluit,” meen Engelbrecht. Die interaktiewe element (waar gebruikers kommentaar op stories kan lewer) bemoeilik ook joernaliste en redakteurs se werk aangesien gebruikers nou oor bykans enigiets kan monduitspoel. “Lesers se kommentaar kan fantasties wees omdat dit ’n storie in ’n gesprek omskep. Die probleem is dat die internet die slegste in mense na vore bring,” sê Otter. Dit is baie moeilik om hierdie probleem hok te slaan omdat nie genoegsame regulasies in plek is nie. “Dit is elke media- en nuusorganisasie se verantwoordelikheid om beheer uit te oefen oor die inhoud op hul webtuistes,” sê Otter. Die onvoorspelbare Die pas waarteen die media verander, en die groot aantal faktore wat ’n invloed daarop uitoefen, maak dit moeilik om die toekomstige landskap te voorspel. Joernaliste is volgens Engelbrecht steeds belangrik omdat hulle die nuus binne ’n konteks plaas en steeds die waarheid van versinsels moet skei. “Die blote verskaffing van inligting is nie Joernalistiek nie. Joernalistiek het verduideliking en konteks nodig,” sê sy. Otter glo die insig wat joernaliste aan lesers verskaf, is juis die towermiddel wat tradisionele media (veral koerante) gaan red. “Die toekoms van tradisionele media is meer in-diepte verslaggewing, ontleding en insig,” verduidelik hy. Volgens Schoeman is sosiale en multimedia nie in kompetisie met tradisionele media nie. “Sosiale en Multimedia-joernalistiek is ’n manier om by te hou met tegnologiese ontwikkelinge en om te doen wat die kern van Joernalistiek is: Die vertel van stories.”

Die einde van tradisionele demografie? Sosiale media het nie net die medialandskap verander nie, meen Johanna Blakley, ’n media- en vermaaknavorser van die Norman Lear-Sentrum by die Universiteit van Suid-Kalifornië. Die einde van demografie is óók naby. • Sosiale media het gehelp om die stereotipes wat deur die media geskep word te vernietig. • Die internet het tot die ontstaan van verskeie aanlyngemeenskappe gelei — die massamark van die toekoms — wat vorm as gevolg van gedeelde belangstellings. • Mense se belangstellings word nou gerespekteer waar dit in die verlede slegs van hulle ouderdom, geslag en ras afgelei is. • Vroue is die dryfkrag agter die revolusie van sosiale media. Bykans 55% van sosiale media-verbruikers is vroue. • “Daar word ’n magdom inligting oor mense opgesluit in die wyse waarop hulle hulself vermaak. As jy kyk na hoe mense hulself vermaak, kan jy ook sien hoe hulle hulself teenoor ander sake, soos politiek, oriënteer,” sê Blakley.

SMF 2011 | 53


Blogs: betroubaar

of bog?

Stephanie Pekeur

Is bloggers die joernaliste van die toekoms? Kan Jan en San Publiek hom- of haarself as ‘n joernalis ag? Met die internet en vandag se tegnologie is dit dalk ’n moontlikheid.

K

an jy agter ’n rekenaar inskuif, jou menings lug en monduitspoel oor sekere onderwerpe én jouself ’n joernalis noem? Die internet het die medialandskap drasties verander. Dit is veral blogs wat die grense tussen “joernalis” en “blogger” en “kommentaar lewer” en “Joernalistiek” vervaag het. Jan en San Publiek kan nou, as gevolg van blogs, ook Joernalistiek beoefen. Bloggers word deur die Open Society Mediaprogram gedefinieer as burgers wat ’n aktiewe rol speel om inligting in te samel, nuus te ontleed en verslag te doen oor aktuele kwessies. Hierdie verskynsel staan ook as Burgerjoernalistiek bekend. Die nuus breek Die terreur-aanvalle op die VSA in September 2011 het die wêreld vir die eerste keer blootgestel aan gewone mense wat hul

| SMF 2011

stories vertel het. Baie van hierdie stories het ook in die hoofstroommedia gefigureer. Die formele begrip “Burgerjoernalistiek” is egter vir die eerste keer na die 2004-tsunami in Asië gebruik nadat mense foto’s en video’s oor dié gebeurtenis op hul persoonlike blogs geplaas het. Televisienetwerke wêreldwyd het hierdie materiaal uitgesaai en tydskrifte het lang artikels daaroor geskryf. Nuuskorrespondente is dikwels nie daar waar die nuus gebeur nie en die burgers is soms eerste op die toneel. Baie nuusagentskappe (soos CNN en BBC) het die waarde hiervan besef en menigte nuuswebtuistes het deesdae ’n afdeling waar mense hulle inligting, video’s en foto’s kan publiseer. Volgens Nina Robinson, ’n senior joernalis by die BBC, kan kwessies wat gewoonlik nie aandag kry nie op dié manier op die nuus-aggenda kom.

“Ek sien dit as die demokratisering van die nuusproses. Eerder as wat die BBC as ’n nuusorganisasie die nuusagenda bepaal, luister ons na wat die mense ons vertel. “Ons luister na hul menings en gedagtes en soms ooggetuieverslae — hetsy dit video’s, foto’s of opinie-stukke is,” sê sy. Opleiding Volgens ijnet.org (’n netwerk van internasionale joernaliste) is Al Jazeera die nuutste uitsaaier wat beplan om mense in Burgerjoernalistiek op te lei. Enigiemand met ’n selfoon of kamera kan dus opgelei word om nuus te verskaf. In Suid-Afrika verskaf die nuuswebtuiste Grocotts Mail Online opleiding vir burgers. Die redakteur van dié webtuiste, Steven Lang, se hy lees self verskeie blogs, maar nie op ’n gereelde basis nie. “Somtyds is ek nie daarvan bewus of dit ’n webtuiste of ’n blog is nie,” sê hy.


WETENSKAP&TEGNOLOGIE “Blogs is uitstekende bronne van inligting en dit help ook mense met hul eie demone afreken,” voeg hy by. In ’n onderhoud op ijnet.org met die joernalis Magda Abdu-Fadil sê sy haar werk het nie verander nie. Sy meen joernaliste moet steeds gebalanseerde en akkurate stories skryf. Hoewel sy in beide die tradisionele en digitale media werk, geniet sy dit om dit om te blog omdat sy vrye teuels het om haar mening te lug. Abu-Fadil, wat ook vir The Huffington Post skryf, voel elke (jong) joernalis moet blog, want dit kan geleenthede skep. Burgerjoernalistiek is volgens haar nie ’n bedreiging vir tradisionele Joernalistiek nie — joernaliste moet eerder leer om multimediaverslaggewers te word. Sy sê etiese kwessies bly onveranderd; dit is slegs die manier waarop die nuus versprei word wat verander. Abu-Fadil dink nie dit is die moeite werd om Joernalistiek te studeer nie, omdat die terrein besig is om so vinnig te verander. Volgens die senior assistentredakteur van Rapport, Jacob Rooi, is die opleiding van joernaliste nie altyd noodsaaklik nie. “Daar is talle mense wat begin skryf sonder die nodige joernalistieke opleiding. Ek dink opleiding gee jou net daardie basis om te verstaan hoe die Joernalistiek werk. Opleiding en ervaring vul mekaar aan.” Rooi was self eers ’n onderwyser voordat hy voltyds ’n joernalis geword het. Hy was ook ’n nuuskorrespondent en hierdie ervaring het gehelp dat hy later werk gekry het. Rooi het egter later opleiding op nagraadse vlak in Joernalsitiek ontvang. Volgens hom sal opleiding studente help om die wetlike en etiese aspekte van Joernalistiek te verstaan.

Onderwerpe van blogs Rooi beskou blogs as mense se eie menings en slegs as iemand ’n kenner op ’n bepaalde gebied is, kan hul blogs as gesaghebbend beskou word. Die grondwetkenner, prof. Pierre de Vos (skrywer van die blog Constitutionally Speaking) is juis iemand met gesag. Hy het sy blog begin omdat akademici traag is om aan openbare debatte deel te neem. Hy meen dit is belangrik om oor jou vakgebied te blog en dit op só ’n manier te doen dat dit verstaanbaar is. “In ’n demokrasie is dit goed as mense aan ’n openbare gesprek deelneem deur hul opinies te gee — ook op blogs. “Maar as sulke opinies nie op enige feite gebaseer is nie, dra dit seker nie veel by tot enige sinvolle gesprek of debat nie,” sê hy. Gevare van blogging Jolie O’Dell ’n Amerikaanse joernalis wat ook haar eie blog het, vaar (ironies genoeg) uit teen bloggers in een van haar bloginskrywings wat heel gepas “How to tell a journalist from a Blogger” heet. Een van die risiko’s van Burgerjoernalistiek is dat skrywers hul eie menings lug en moontlik bevooroordeeld kan wees. Hierdie mense sien hulself nie as joernaliste nie, maar eerder as aktiviste vir ’n bepaalde saak en hoef dus nie aan die etiese riglyne van Joernalistiek te voldoen nie. Dit is om hierdie rede dat die gehoor van burgerjoernaliste krities moet omgaan met hulle werk. Die toekoms Jy kan deesdae aanvaar dat enigiemand wat agter ’n rekenaar inskuif en begin blog op die titel “joernalis” aanspraak kan maak. En dit is nie noodwendig negatief nie. Burgerjoernaliste versterk demokrasie en gee ’n stem aan diegene wat voorheen dalk nie in die

hoofstroommedia gehoor is nie. Vir Jan en San Alleman is dit egter belangrik om te besef bloggers kan mense mislei as hulle nie kenners op hul vakgebied is nie. Daarom is dit belangrik dat die gehoor ingelig is en om alles wat hulle lees met ’n knippie sout te neem — en ’n hele paar bronne te raadpleeg.

O’Dell meen daar is veral 10 eienskappe wat joernaliste van bloggers onderskei: • • • • • • • • • •

’n Joernalis is gewoonlik opgelei in die Joernalistiek. ’n Joernalis is nie liggeraak of kleinserig oor sy of haar werk nie. Persoonlike menings word altyd in nuusstories weerhou. ’n Joernalis haal bronne aan. ’n Joernalis het ’n obsessie met die waarheid. Joernaliste tree altyd in die openbare belang op. ’n Joernalis is dikwels skepties. Skryfstyl en gehalte skryfwerk is gewoonlik belangrik vir ’n joernalis. Joernaliste is nie spioene nie. Joernaliste het ’n passie vir die Joernalistiek.

SMF 2011 |


Chrizane van Zyl

A

What does it mean to be part of a South African family? We often turn to the media for answers. But in a world where alternative ways of living and loving have become part of the fabric of society, do the realities of family life match what we see in the media?

recent Zoot Review television advertisement shows a mother talking about Inkomazi Maas (fermented cow’s milk). The scene portrayed is of a high income suburban African family with mom, dad and son enjoying Inkomazi Maas in their sparkling white kitchen. The child is dressed in school uniform and the father is getting ready for work. The picture is that of a happy family. However, such an ideal family setup is far removed from reality. The “nest” in which the nuclear family existed has been blown out of the tree in South Africa. The traditional family has become a minority as divorce rates soar, household members work and live separately and women start to take over the role as head of the household. According to researchers, a quarter of South African children have lost one or both parents and child-headed households are common. Single mothers struggle to make ends meet and even the wealthy modern family is becoming increasingly dysfunctional. Marianne Thamm, acclaimed journalist, social commentator and mother of two adopted children, agrees that the South African nuclear family has evolved over the last decade. “Family structures in South Africa are far removed from the white, Western nuclear family as portrayed by most popular media, magazines and books,” she says. Since she and her partner adopted their black and coloured daughters eight years ago, Thamm says things have changed in middleclass society. Even though lesbian and gay people have gained their freedom over time,

56 | SMF 2011

non-nuclear families such as Thamm’s are often still scrutinised. “I am always in some way aware that I am being watched,” she says. Do the media have a responsibility to portray the realities of South African alternative families? Thamm believes the media reflects the “amplified consensus” about what people think society should be like. But the idea of patriarchal society is no longer a reality as women make up more than 60% of the work force. “The elusive nuclear family headed by a man is the postcard of family life,” Thamm says. “There is this puritanical and narrow-minded idea that there is something wrong with a household that is headed by a woman. You always hear men saying the male role model is so important, but for many young men their mothers were their role models.” Change to come Churches and community leaders are calling for the re-establishment of traditional family values. They feel that the HIV/Aids epidemic, poverty, unemployment, unwanted pregnancies, absent parenting and domestic violence have affected the structure and functioning of families. The government’s concern about the state of the South African family has led the Department of Social Development to formulate a policy to protect and reinstate the family unit. The green paper, which was proposed in midSeptember this year, looks at the changes in the South African family. The government is also urging black families to specifically adopt black children in order to “create a socially cohesive environment”.

Rudi Swanepoel, a former copywriter and now a pastor at the Andrew Murray Dutch Reformed Church in Johannesburg, advocates the protection of the family unit. “We (parents) should do whatever we can to protect and cultivate the traditional idea of the nuclear family. I’m not pleading for a return to patriarchy, but for people to lead and guide their family and children,” he explains. Families today have adapted to survive in a high pressure, ever-changing world in which many physical and social barriers between modern family members exist. The most common constraints that families face, besides struggling to survive financially, are the lack of other resources such as time and energy, according to psychologist Elana Burger. “Changes in our economy are the main contributors to the way we communicate,” she says. The dual-income family finds itself under a lot of pressure. It is not uncommon for South African parents to work away from home. In both affluent and poor communities, parents and children do not necessarily live together anymore. Some children get to see their parents only once a month, while others have a few chances per year, according to Burger. “In theory they are still a nuclear family, but in practise they’re not at all.” Most experts are unsure whether the return to the nuclear family is a realistic goal amid many historical, political and economic challenges that have a direct impact on modern families. “We live in a country where there are alternatives,” Thamm says. The weight of the South African constitution supports the modern family to exist under the democratic


LIFESTYLE

right to freedom of expression, religion and sexual orientation. “You don’t have to like me but you need to tolerate me. And that’s really a very powerful, real experience of what the constitution has brought me, particularly as an individual and for my children,” Thamm says. The proposed family policy classifies South African families into thirteen different types, which include the traditional nuclear family, single parent or child-headed households and same-sex marriages. “There are many other countries in the world where there is repression and a lack of openness, which is why it is so exciting to be living where we live now and to be exposed to Jacob Zuma’s world view. I think the fact that Zuma’s first wife is still treated as the number one wife is fantastic because that’s their arrangement,” Thamm says. The family’s media diet Popular media like film, radio and television remain the most consumed in South Africa. Over the last decade South Africans have seen modern families in television soaps like Egoli, Isidingo and 7de Laan, as well as in popular

magazines like Drum and Huisgenoot. But says Thamm: “The modern families come and go. They serve as a side dish in our stories.” The South African media should effectively engage with the intricacies of the modern family by the standards of what Thamm calls “modern love”. The role of media producers is becoming increasingly important in this. “People who create culture are more liberal-minded,” Thamm says. “We do need the creators of art and media to be a step ahead of the audience, otherwise why does the audience watch?” The biggest obstacle remains the lack of resources to manufacture media products that portray these intricacies. “What happens is the media eats its own tail and essentially we pay for the same story across many platforms,” says Thamm. The realities reflected in the South African news media are often horror stories of family murder or the rape of a child by an uncle, father or neighbour. This highlights the dysfunctional aspect of family life in South Africa. Another type of family portrayed in popular media is the celebrity family, which is built on the elements

of desire. It is clear the media has a specific idea of what it thinks might sell. Representing diversity Do the media have a responsibility in rebuilding the family unit? “I do not believe that the media’s portrayal of their sitcoms in particular show the full spectrum of ‘broken’ families. The media cannot portray the realistic picture of the impact modern struggles have on society,” Burger says. “I do not know if the South African viewers are ready to look at the realities of family life via the media, since we use the media mainly as an escapist tool”. “There is a way of reflecting people’s ordinary lives back to them in the media which would be helpful to them and constructive. To show models of single mothers who raise children who go on to be successful would do a lot of good,” Thamm says. “I don’t know why someone hasn’t written a series set in Joburg with a polygamous Zulu man and a white wife in the family.” In a country such as ours there are ample opportunities for the media to show what is really going on inside our living rooms.

WHAT THE SOUTH AFRICAN FAMILY LOOKS LIKE

The SA Race Relations Institute found that, in 2008, almost a quarter of South African children grew up without their biological parents.

The modern South African family has an average income of R6000 per month and is headed by a woman.

40 % of children in South Africa live with their single mothers.

According to Solidarity South Africa only 34% of SA families are traditional nuclear families

Black children make up only a quarter of the 34% of children living with both parents.

SMF 2011 | 57


Charlea Sieberhagen

Die strate van stede het die loopplank geword waar die samelewing se kreatiwiteit weerspieël word. En danksy die media kan almal dié modeparade dophou. it raak ál gewilder en enigiemand kan dit doen. Tydskrifte doen dit en daar is ’n groot verskeidenheid blogs oor die onderwerp. Sosiale netwerke en selfs party koerante volg dié nuwe neiging. Straatstyl. Straatmodes. Sypaadjiestyl. Skielik is dit nie nét die loopplank wat saak maak nie. Wat gewone mense aantrek wanneer hulle die strate invaar om inkopies te doen of die dorp te gaan rooi verf, het die afgelope paar jaar belangriker geraak. Dit is veral die media wat veroorsaak het dat mense hiervan begin kennis neem het. Sosiale 58 | SMF 2011

en tradisionele media (soos tydskrifte en koerante) het almal tot die opkoms van straatstyl bygedra. Ook blogs soos The Sartorialist van die fotograaf Scott Schuman maak lankal opslae in die modewêreld. Schuman vat sy kamera en gaan soek na mense met unieke kombinasies van kleure en klere. Skoene, hoede, jasse, patrone en teksture wat enig in hul soort is, word kreatief en kunstig in die oomblik vasgevang. The Sartorialist is egter nie die eerste of die enigste wat besluit het om ’n kamera op te tel

en te gaan kyk wat gewone mense graag aantrek nie. Op eie bodem is daar talle Suid-Afrikaanse bloggers en publikasies wat ook die modeneigings op straat dophou. Die modetydskrif ELLE plaas gereeld foto’s van straatstyl in kosmopolitiese stede soos Kaapstad, Johannesburg en Durban. Na die Kaapstad Modeweek het sarie.com ook foto’s geplaas van gewone mense wat die modeskou bygewoon het. Dit het dus nie net gegaan oor wat op die loopplank gewys is nie, maar ook oor mense se eie interpretasie van die modes van die dag.


LEEFSTYL Waar het dit begin? Maar straatmodes wat op film en deesdae digitaal vasgevang word, is nie so nuut as wat die meeste mense dink nie. Lankal voor straatstyl blogs soos The Sartorialist, het Bill Cunnigham (81) in die 1960’s vir die New York Times begin foto’s neem van die modes wat in die strate van New York gemanifesteer het. Daarom word hy ook as die eerste straatstylfotograaf beskou. In die dokumentêre film wat oor sy lewe gemaak is, Bill Cunnigham New York, sê Cunnigham: “Die beste modeskou is op straat. Dit was altyd daar en sal altyd wees”. Hy beskryf mode as die “wapenrusting” om die realiteite van die lewe te oorleef. “Ek dink nie ’n mens sal daarvan ontslae kan raak nie. Dit sal wees soos om van ‘beskawing’ ontslae te raak,” het hy in dié film gesê. Sypaadjie vs. Loopplank Tarryn Oppel, mode-assistent by ELLE, meen straatstyl het nooit direk van die loopplank afgekom nie, maar dat dit spruit uit dit wat mense sien en waarvan hulle hou. “Ons kommersialiseer dit wat ons op die loopplank sien in die manier wat ons ons uitrustings saamstel. Straatstyl kom van hoe gewone mense die modewêreld interpreteer — ’n mengsel van kleure, konsepsuele neigings en individuele styl,” meen Oppel. “Ek dink die mood of the time het aanbeweeg en skielik besef ons die straat en die loopplank is ewe belangrik,” sê Chris Viljoen, modedirekteur van die vrouetydskrif Sarie, oor dié dat straatstyl al hoe meer in ’n verskeidenheid media te sien is. Hy beskryf die invloed van straatstyl op die modewêreld as “kolossaal” en sê hy dink straatstyl het net so ’n groot invloed op die loopplank as wat die loopplank op straatstyl het. Revolusionêr? Oppel meen straatstyl kan as revolusionêr beskou word omdat die strate vir baie modebewustes hul loopplank geword het. “Dit is hulle manier om hul eie interpretasies en individualiteit te wys en hoe die modewêreld hulle inspireer,” sê sy. Al dink Viljoen dat straatstyl belangrik is, stem hy egter nie saam nie. “Ek dink nie straatstyl is revolusionêr nie. Ek dink daar is bitter min dinge wat revolusionêr is,” sê hy en verduidelik verder.

“Alle moontlike trends herhaal hulself, maar elke slag as dit herhaal, word dit herdefinieer vir die tyd waarin dit is.” Wat die bloggers sê Malibongwe Tyilo se blog (skattiewhatareyouwearing.blogspot.com) bestaan uit foto’s van mense met interessante uitrustings wat Tyilo by sosiale byeenkomste en kunsuitstallings neem. Daarom beskou hy sy blog eerder as ’n “sosiale blad”. “Ek dink straatstyl is cool omdat dit gaan oor wat reeds bestaan. En hoe meer mense straatstylblogs besoek om te kyk na wat ander mense aantrek, hoe makliker sal hulle met uitrustings eksperimenteer,” sê hy. Michelle Oberholzer, skrywer van die blog cinderandskylark.blogspot.com meen straatstyl gee mense wat nie so avontuurlustig is nie nuwe idees en help hulle om hul eie modegrense te verskuif. “Ek sal graag wil dink dat dit mense meer oopkop maak. Ek hou daarvan om soveel moontlik verskillende mense en style in te sluit,” sê sy. Die rol van die media “Ek dink sosiale media het straatstyl vir ons tyd gedefinieer,” sê Viljoen. “Ek dink dis ’n kombinasie van ons lewe in die era van realiteitstelevisie. En dit het ’n groot invloed gehad op hoe ons na dinge kyk. Blogs en die internet is so ’n onmiddellike deel van ons lewe,” verduidelik Viljoen. En net so stem Tyilo saam. “Selfs al was straatstyl nog altyd daar, het die gerief wat saam met aanlynmedia gekom het dit tot nuwe hoogtes gevoer. Daarom dink ek die blootstelling van aanlynmedia het straatstyl gemaak wat dit vandag is,” sê hy. Deesdae word straatstyl ook meer in tradisionele media gesien. Oberholzer meen die hoofstroommedia het besef hoe gewild straatstyl geword het. “Die meeste tydskrifte en koerante het foto’s van straatstyl begin publiseer. Dit het weer om die beurt die gewildheid na die hoofstroommedia verskuif,” sê sy. En Oberholzer glo ook daar gaan ’n groter ontploffing van straatstyl wees soos meer mense toegang tot die internet kry. Oppel stem saam met haar en meen verandering is besig om vinnig te gebeur. “Blogs soos The Sartorialist en lookbook.nu

is goeie voorbeelde van hoe die media ’n belangrike rol speel in wat die strate het om te bied. “Ek kan egter nie sê of ontwerpers slegs in die strate gaan loer vir inspirasie nie, maar dit het verseker begin met internasionale ontwerpers soos Balenciaga wat gewone meisies van die straat afgevat het om die eerste uitrustings van sy Lente/Somer 2011-reeks te modelleer. David West het verlede jaar net ‘regte’ mense gebruik om sy hele reeks tydens Kaapstad Modeweek te dra,” verduidelik sy. Hoe dit ook al sy, straatstyl het aan die modewêreld ’n nuwe dimensie gegee. En of dit ’n neiging is wat eendag gaan wegkwyn of een is wat hier is om te bly, as dit nie vir die media was nie het die mense op straat dit dalk net misgekyk.

Die modeontwerper, David Tlale sê: “Straatstyl maak die stede mooi! Dit is belangrik omdat dit ook ’n spesifieke stad maak wat dit is. Straatmodes bring die gees van die stad na vore en is ’n stem vir die kultuur wat daar aangetref word. Die mense sien wat op die loopplank is en gaan dan mal; heeltemal verby dit wat die ontwerper met hul eie idees gedoen het. Omdat mense nie altyd geld het nie, maak hulle die beste van dit wat reeds in hul kaste is deur te meng en pas. Dit wat ek op straat sien inspireer en motiveer my wanneer ek ontwerp. In ’n indirekte manier kom daardie straatstyl weer in my ontwerpe na vore. Straatstyl sal vir altyd revolusionêr wees.” Die skrywer en tendens voorspeller, Craig Jacobs sê: “Mense kyk graag na straatstyl omdat hulle dan nuwe maniere kry om dit wat in die tydskrifte geadverteer word, te dra. Straatstyl gee ’n inspuiting van vernuwing in die wêreld van mode en ontwerp.”

SMF 2011 | 59


Colour me BEAUTIFUL 60 | SMF 2011


LIFESTYLE Sarah Koopman

As the media reinvents itself and finds new ways of reaching audiences across the globe, African women are struggling to find images of women who look like them being celebrated as beautiful.

“Y

es, because that’s really what this whole multi-billion dollar industry is all about, isn’t it? Inner beauty.” This is the lesson sage stylist Nigel, at fictional Runway magazine, imparts to the uninitiated intern Andy in the film The Devil Wears Prada. From this line we learn everything there is to know about this fickle industry. There are certain standards of beauty that must be attained in order to make the grade, which advertisers and media producers are cashing in on. There has been growing protest about the impact the commercialisation of aesthetic beauty has on women around the world. Even so, little is really changing. You do not have to look far to hear the endless argument that it is the media’s fault for supporting this ridiculous industry. Unfortunately, it is not that simple. Shoot the messenger As the means of contact between any industry and its consumers, the media need to strike a balance in determining what may harm consumers, while at the same time ensuring they maintain the financial backing of these industries. Because at the root of it, media producers have to run a business where they are dependent on investment from the industries they represent. Media content is a commodity. People are consumers. How do the media create a package that keeps investors happy and simultaneously maintain the consumer’s best interest? The balance seems near impossible to strike. The fashion, lifestyle and beauty industry has been in the spotlight for the longest time regarding its impact on the consumer. The industry is focused on establishing a sense of aspiration in consumers, who view the products being advertised as part of the ideal lifestyle. To achieve this standard, consumers are told they must own certain things, eat certain foods and look a certain way. The women embodying these ideals are depicted as the epitome of beauty. In a

diverse global village, creating a limited — and often unrealistic — ideal for feminine beauty has resulted in most women feeling inadequate and trying to conform to Westernised standards. To be considered beautiful by these standards, women must be fair-skinned, tall and thin, have long wavy hair and small, delicate features. This is the ideal woman portrayed by the majority of women’s media across the globe. Young women looking for role models in the media flick through magazines and do not see themselves on the pages of these glossies. Instead they see everything they are not. Women from different ethnic and cultural backgrounds are then challenged to abandon their own characteristics in order to be classified as beautiful and attractive in the most mainstream of ways. They learn to attach their self-worth to a standard of beauty defined by a tiny portion of the population. The changes in the media may appear to have given women increased independence, but all these changes have done is made women slaves to the insecurities used by the media as weapons against them. Culturally, there are so many differences between the West and Africa. The things that each culture considers desirable could not be further apart, but unfortunately we find ourselves in a perpetual situation of Western culture taking precedence over what is inherently beautiful in African culture. It is highly unlikely that the fair-skinned, tall, skinny woman with small, delicate features and long, wavy hair will be found native to the “dark continent”. African women are none of these things. Not fitting this description, they are condemned by the Western media as unattractive. This is hardly fair, as biology is against them — and judging by the prevalence of eating disorders, hair extensions and everything from fake nails to fake eyelashes, this impossible standard of beauty is unnatural to most women. While there have been moves to accept different types of beauty into the mainstream,

the overriding Western imperialism holds fast. Even if models are not white, they must be so far on the other end of the spectrum that they are an anomaly. They are so “exotic” that the curiosity they evoke makes them attractive. Usually, they are as tall (if not taller) as the models already gracing fashion pages. They are as skinny and, even though they are African, they do not have what would typically be accepted as “African” characteristics. No flat noses, plumper lips or fuller, voluptuous figures here. Begging to be beautiful In superficial attempts to show a revolution in the media, women’s magazines and advertising campaigns feature black celebrities. The irony is that these women’s likenesses have undergone serious Photoshop alterations, such as singer Beyoncé Knowles who had her skin lightened on a magazine cover. Strangely enough, what these women are endorsing are often products that will make black women look more like something they are not. Under clever names like “skin tone eveners” or “blemish removal”, products aim to lighten dark skin, change eye colour through the use of colour contact lenses or straighten “ethnic” hair (the name given to coarse or curly hair by advertisers). As a result, women are resorting to more bizarre and dangerous ways to meet these requirements. Women in Africa have been known to crush antiretroviral medication into a paste that will make their skins lighter. So desperate are they to be beautiful, they will forgo life-saving medication just to look more attractive. Situations like these are not helped by black men who openly state that lighter women are more attractive. The latest term is “yellow bone”, describing black women who are of lighter complexion with a yellow undertone. “I am dark and I guess people tend to like what they don’t have, right?” says 23-year-old Daniel Kagame, a fourth year Business Science student. It is this striving for something different that seems to SMF 2011 | 61


Photos: TRACEY SEYMOR

perpetuate these trends. When asked to consider African beauty, blogger and Law student Remy Gamije (23) highlights the extremes. “Women have to be like (model) Alek Wek — dark as ebony or something strange like that. Light isn’t African.” These same women are spending ridiculous amounts of time and money to achieve luxurious, wavy locks. The assumption is that women who have hair like this are worldly and of a higher social standing. “The ‘cosmopolitan’ women always have weaves,” says Gamije. This is not a struggle reserved for black women — women of different races with curly or coarse hair are opting for treatments and hair products that will make their hair more appealing. Sitting for days to have people painfully tug at your scalp and tightly braid your hair into submission is not an uncommon practice for black and coloured women around the globe. 62 | SMF 2011

The weave (mostly synthetic hair fibres that are sewn into an individual’s natural hair) industry is growing rapidly internationally. Weaves made of human hair are most desirable. That is, long, smooth hair sold by women from mostly India and Brazil, which then becomes the crowning glory of a woman somewhere in Africa for a month or two. A “good” natural weave can cause at least a R5 000-shaped dent in a South African woman’s purse. All this because she is ashamed of her natural hair; after being conditioned to believe that if she embraces the beauty she was born with, then she is ugly. The costs, it seems, are worth it for the self-confidence they purchase. “It ain’t cheap wanting white hair yo’!” says Olwethu Mtiya (22). And now it is up to us Busi Mahlaba, former Nokia Face of Africa pageant judge and True Love Editor, once said:

“There’s no beauty like African beauty — our skin tones, our figures and our shapes are distinct and unique in all of the world!” Unfortunately, the majority of African women do not see the situation this way. Their feelings of inferiority are constantly being reinforced from all angles by all media. “International trends” are, in fact, being couriered straight to African women through local channels. It is unlikely that the commodification of beauty is going to change, but it is a shame that the African media are unable to shift from a Western ideal and offer African women versions of themselves. There is a lot at stake here, mostly an uncomfortable in-between and non-descript group of women stuck in perpetual self-depreciation. To prevent this, the African media needs to own its place and role in the global media landscape in order to preserve the natural beauty that is abundant on this continent.


Living in the

craze age

Jana Joubert

One of the strongest media trends of recent times is an obsession with celebrity. Or perhaps a celebrity “craze” would be a more appropriate description of the media’s rabid concern with the lives of the rich and famous. 64 | SMF 2011

ot so many years ago it would have been strange to find celebrity related articles in a serious newspaper. Gossip magazines such as People and Heat were considered fringe fodder and tabloid newspapers were not taken seriously. Nowadays, however, it is surprising when a scandalous celebrity snippet does not make it to the front page of even the most highbrow publication. In recent years, gossip magazines have become money-making machines sustaining many a media company and audiences are bombarded with celebrity news at regular intervals during the day. Many celebrities have joined the chorus (or capitulated) by letting people around the world in on their innermost thoughts and daily activities via social media

such as Twitter and Facebook.

Societal obsession Society’s interest in celebrities can indeed be called an obsession, says psychologist Elize Morkel. “The way in which society wants to know everything, even the smallest most intimate details of celebrities, comes down to a preoccupation with their lives.” Morkel says the media can be held accountable for fuelling this obsession. “The media strengthens the dominant discourses in society and are largely responsible for prescribing, whether directly or indirectly, what is in and what it out. The media therefore sets the norms of what is acceptable or appropriate human behaviour.”


LIFESTYLE

Graphics: JANA JOUBERT

Media dependency Professor Lizette Rabe, head of Stellenbosch University’s Journalism Department, says the South African media’s dependency on celebrity news is a desperate attempt to increase circulation. “For the sake of circulation, our media, even the mainstream media, have become dependent on a sensational packaging of news,” she says. According to Rabe, this is a mistake on the part of media owners. “They think they are going to save their circulation in this way, but they won’t. I don’t think their readers fall under that market. People who want gossip news will buy a tabloid.” Gavin Prins, Celebrity News Editor of Rapport newspaper and presenter of KykNet’s celebrity gossip program Glitterati, says to the contrary that the South African media are on their way to forming a strong paparazzi culture. “Society is definitely obsessed with the lives of celebrities. That’s why professionals like me still have a job,” Prins says. Prins, however, doesn’t believe the media have become obsessed. “That would mean we become emotionally involved with our stories. We just move with the times, borrow ideas from overseas and give the public what they want.” Scandalous stars It seems that what the public wants is scandal, and South Africa has had its fair share. “I think all local media owe rugby hero Joost van der Westhuizen millions of rands, because his sex scandal has sent quite a few circulation figures through the roof,” Prins says. Singer Steve Hofmeyr is another South African celebrity whose personal life has come under a lot of media scrutiny. “Artists are soft targets. Maybe because what we do isn’t seen as work, but entertainment,” Hofmeyr says.

He calls society’s obsession with celebrities a “cancer” and says this is something which he still finds strange. “My career kicked off long before tabloids, paparazzi and gutter journalism,” Hofmeyr claims. “Maybe it’s old school (of me), but I was totally unprepared for this new generation of tabloid worm. “You buy your safety with them with a makebelieve friendship that’s measured by how far up their asses you can function,” he says. While many of the rich and famous share Hofmeyr’s sentiments, Rabe believes celebrities need to roll with the punches. “They need to be able to handle the positive as well as the negative aspects of media exposure. You live by the media, you die by the media. It’s as simple as that.” The value of celebrity An escapist need plays a part in people’s fascination with the lives of the rich and famous, says Morkel. “Even in the worst cases of poverty and hardship, people identify with celebs, follow their lives in the media and talk about them as if they were old friends.” Prins agrees: “People tend to place celebrities on a higher ground, like some kind of superhero. And when celebrities are embroiled in a scandal of any sort, it makes ‘plain Jane’ feel like her life is not so bad after all.” Following the ups and downs of a celebrity’s life can also create a sense of community among people who previously had nothing in common, explains Morkel. “Celebs’ accessible lives can bind people across different boundaries. Whether at the hair salon, supermarket or movies, people can talk, speculate and gossip as equals about celebrities.” Wealth, power, beauty, perfection and success are some of the things that society values and which celebrities subsequently have come to represent. “The more people are exposed to

Hannelie Booyens, Journalist

“A decade or two ago you wouldn’t find an exposé on Steve Hofmeyr’s sordid love life on the front page of serious newspapers, but these days celebrity scandal and controversy sell like nothing else.”

these values, the more they will strive towards them,” Morkel says. Rabe doesn’t question society’s need for gossip and celebrity news, but stresses a balance needs to be found. “If people want to read gossip news, let them. It is, after all, part of the human inclination. But this shouldn’t shift important news, that which makes the world turn, to the side.” Celebs doing it for themselves With direct access to the comings and goings of celebrities via social media platforms, the world is exposed to their lives more than ever before. Instead of leaving the reporting to the tabloids, it seems the rich and famous have taken their exposure into their own hands. Hofmeyr, known for his turbulent relationship with the media, says he finds Twitter and Facebook very liberating. He uses his social media accounts only in his professional capacity and says “the chats (with fans) are very welcome”. There is an impression that celebrities see the media as useful insofar they serve to further their careers. However, when things get out of hand, celebrities are quick to criticise tabloids and gossip magazines. “Celebs shouldn’t use the media and then think the media will look the other way when they cross the line. Yes, they can ride on the wave of the media, but they should know that it can easily become a tsunami,” Rabe says. With the popularity of social media and the power it provides celebrities, traditional mainstream media might start playing a smaller role in future. According to Rabe though, the influence of mainstream media will never fully disappear. “Even with social media, celebs will still need the mainstream media. They first need to make a name for themselves before they can tweet and blow their own horn on Facebook.”

Jill Nicholas, Entertainment Reporter

“The South African media are still way behind our counterparts overseas. But, we are getting there. Look at Tammy-Anne and Jo-Ann Strauss — local people living large, and doing what they do best.”

SMF 2011 | 65


Haji Mohamed Dawjee

J

The culture of capturing music with the use of apps and filesharing services available for free on the internet has resulted in a slump in CD sales. Have record labels become obsolete and are musicians becoming self-sufficient?

ust like print media see their survival under threat due to the innovation of technology, so too does the music industry in its traditional landscape. Times have changed and so has music. Our generation is no longer bound to the purchasing of CD’s for the sake of quenching their musical thirst. With the advent of the MP3, the iPod and other digital gadgets, music can now be stored, purchased and collected through the internet. Many mainstream artists have opted for independence from their signed record labels and chosen instead to use internet hubs such as MySpace or other social networks to promote themselves. Kgosi Kgosi is a freelance song-

66 | SMF 2011

writer and trumpeter based in Pretoria who works with many independent musicians. “Recently more people in the industry are using the internet to launch their music,” he says. Kgosi argues that the South African recording industry is still booming, but says sales have taken a slump. “This is not only due to the fact that CD’s are so expensive here, even in comparison to Europe and America, but as musicians we’re realising that consumers download pirated music anyway and so it might be better to just offer it to them legally on the internet.” Websites such as YouTube are being used as a method to not only advance the careers of

established artists, but to launch the careers of a new breed of musician who is adept at taking advantage of the digital, no-strings-attached, low-cost environment. But does the birth of this digital revolution in the music industry render record labels obsolete? Mp3 vs CD Local songbird Simphiwe Dana recently stated via Twitter that the advantages of having technological tools are making it easier for musicians to market themselves, but added: “They will always need help and cannot do it on their own.” Transit Records, a record industry news website, reports: “MP3 downloads are responsible for


LIFESTYLE

Graphic: HAJI MOHAMED DAWJEE

probably the biggest change in music buying habits since the invention of vinyl. Whether it will be good or bad for the industry is a matter of some dispute, but it has happened, and a period of adjustment is inevitable whilst the old guard find their feet.” Internet-based companies are riding on the waves of social networks, such as Facebook and Twitter, by creating a sense of community. The consumer has now become part of the success story of the latest band, artist or even individual song. Transit proclaims: “In conjunction with many well-known experts and major players of the industry, the philosophy is about getting the consumer involved like never before. Along with handwritten editorial content from some well-known music legends, they are planning download-only MP3 albums created by renowned experts and cutting edge tastemakers.” Some bands, such as Coldplay and Radiohead, have already released smaller catalogues of songs available only in digital download format, albeit covers of their own previously recorded song material. This method proved to be a more successful and cost effective way of making music public and the bands could spend more time on luring fans to live performances. With the ease of storing music and acquiring it at low cost over the internet, there seems little need to purchase an entire CD to listen to a fraction of the songs when your favourites can be purchased, catalogued and stored with a couple of clicks. Just the consideration of these simple facts makes it hard to deny that the digital music revolution has had an impact on the music industry. Unplugged An industry once solely responsible for the performing, recording, producing and distribution of music has now become an “old world” struggle, according to marketing director and entrepreneurship writer Rik Wuts. On his website, Klatergoud.com, Wuts writes: “While record labels are suing the pants off of file sharing sites and iTunes isn’t making a ton of money, some clever folks have been calling for the new model to emerge for years. Artists will make money from their tours, with recorded music merely a marketing vehicle for the live performance.” Kgosi shares this sentiment. “Musicians love to play music,” he says. “They are better off on a stage and getting everything out there, and without the hassle of having to worry about CD’s means they can work on getting fans into venues.” This same trend seems to be taking place in-

ternationally as well. Flick, founder of independent record label Puddlegum, emphasises the shift in the musical trend of pushing out records to optimise live performances. With CD releases decreasing and artists opting for the release of the single instead, Flick assumes “we may be poised for a rebirth of creativity”. Artists are able to accumulate more revenue by performing live and there has never been a shortage of demand for good shows. And with the cost-effective tools available for self-promotion and marketing, the purpose of a record label as an agency is called into question. Flick asserts that because record labels pay a lot of money for the costs of professional recording studios, artists are only afforded the joy of a release every two or three years when they have accumulated enough material to release an entire album. “The internet is providing artists with the option to release their music independent of a traditional record label... (and) the frequency that EPs (shorter albums) and singles can be released allow the artist to connect with his listeners several times a year, instead of one LP (full album) every two or three years,” he states. Still, many fans argue that the idea of sitting in front of a screen and clicking away is a tedious and soulless affair. When speaking of worthwhile artists, there are still those fans that like the idea of having a library of songs that you can see and touch and feel. The essence of purchasing music in CD format also lies in the fact that it carries some sort of aesthetic value. In some cases songs are longer and then there is the decoration or labelling of the CD itself and the visual appeal of the album art. You could argue that while the iPad is an effective tool for the future, it takes nothing away from the essence of acquiring an “old school” book that can be placed upon a shelf. The same, in the opinion of many, can be said about the CD. The road ahead Danny Goldberg, President of Gold Village Entertainment (GVE), has worked in the music business as a personal manager, record company president, public relations man and journalist since the late 1960’s. GVE was formed in July 2007 and is responsible for managing the careers of rock acts such as The Cranberries and The Hives. With a career dependent on the survival of the recording industry, Goldberg is vocal about where his loyalties lie and has very strong opinions. In his review about the digital music revolution, Goldberg declares: “There is no question that many aspects of the digital explosion have been good for music fans

and musicians. Recording and video costs are a fraction of what they were in former times, and niche artists have the ability to identify and bond with fans in a way that was impossible in the pre-digital world. Select superstars such as Radiohead and Nine Inch Nails can make previously unheard-of profits by cutting out the middlemen.” Needless to say, record companies are slowly tiring of their fight against the internet. And instead adopting an attitude of “if you can’t beat them, join them.” Warner Brothers Music Group (WBMG) was one of the first to jump on the bandwagon. In an article on Forbes.com, entitled Can YouTube grow up and stay cool?, writer Peter Kafka exclaims: “Finally, an oldmedia dinosaur gets it!” WBMG signed with YouTube and agreed license its artists’ What thetoexperts say:songs and videos to the web, sharing legally as opposed to bootlegging. This, according to Kafka, was a revolution in itself for the record company who is “taking great pains to convince the investors that the internet is an opportunity for the company, not a revenue destroyer”.

What the experts say Gary Leslie Copper, SAMA (South African Music Award) winning producer and studio owner shares several insights on the digital musical revolution. This is what he had to say: - “While all music and the creation thereof has become more accessible, the line between the true professional and the average Joe has become blurred.” - ”What the digital age has done for us is bring music to corners of the world that probably never would have gotten it before, allowed musicians and fans alike to discover new possibilities and created jobs for people who, without this new age would never have gotten a foot in the industry.” - ”To paraphrase something I saw on Facebook a while back, ‘music today sounds like it’s made in a box, totally separated from a musician playing an instrument’.”

SMF 2011 | 67


News is something somebody doesn’t want printed; all else is advertising. ~William Randolph Hearst

Have you been working as a journalist for a number of years, but want to find out more about the story-behind-the-story, the theories and concepts that can help you understand your work better? Do you want a new qualification to help you get ahead? If yes, then the MA in Journalism at Stellenbosch University is the degree for you. The MA in Journalism is a structured programme based on modular work. Students have to visit Stellenbosch for seminar courses. The course is popular with media practitioners who wish to further their education without having to resign their work. Students can choose between three different options:

1. A structured programme with coursework of 120 credits and a thesis of 60 credits 2. A 50% structured programme (modular work with a total of 90 credits) with a 50% thesis (90 credits) 3. A 100% thesis (180 credits)

Find out more at www.sun.ac.za/journalism



SMF 2011