Journalism is more than ‘just a job’

January 22, 2020

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With the explosion of fake news, courtesy of social media, accompanied by mounting attacks, verbal and physical, against journalists, it may be useful to remember what the role of journalists — not bots and trolls — should be and that ethical journalism still survives. In this context, in South Africa, it is worth remembering how journalism (the work of journalists) brought to light the whole disgusting state capture venture.

Posted in: Commentary

Strap in — it’s the rise of the machines

January 21, 2020

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Artificial Intelligence and the technology employing it is not our enemy; it is who controls it and to what end that will determine whether humanity benefits or finds itself in the sort of dystopian world only imagine4d by the most pessimistic speculative fiction writers. The technology now being developed, displaces human labour; it does not (as in previous industrial revolutions) provide machines that make human labour more productive. It has never been more imperative for working people to take democratic control and perhaop liuberate humanity.

2020: Tumult lies ahead — but hope too

January 17, 2020

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Hope for the future lies in placing the massive advances in technology and AI under democratic, accountable and transparent control. Failure to do so could result in a dystopian future that only the most pessimistic of speculative fiction writers have imagined.

Time to stop thinking & acting in silos

December 15, 2019

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If wishes were dinners, the hungry would eat. It's a variation on an old Scottish proverb about beggars and horses, but it seems worth bearing in mind as this year draws quite grimly to a close. Because wishes and hopes are, in themselves, futile at a time when clarity of thought and analysis, followed by appropriate action is called for.

Journalism & the media: time to be afraid, very afraid

December 2, 2019

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Honest, evidence-based journalism is under increasing pressure, especially with so many media outlets compromised or captured. South African provides classic examples and reasons why fulsome support should be given to the fight for continued — and expanded — access to information.

Beware the laws that muzzle media

December 1, 2019

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Forget, for the moment, state capture. Think instead of media capture and the impact it can — and does — have on all our lives. At the same time, consider too the ongoing attempts to discredit journalism and the media. That we should all do so was highlighted last week by Chief Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng […]

Knaves, fools and responsibility

November 19, 2019

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It may be too simple to say that only fools institutes the same policies time after time, on each occasion expecting a different outcome. This could be knavish behaviour, with the policymakers and their backers — the few — continuing to benefit at the expense of the many they profess to support.