I am trying to look to the future and do as much good as i can. That’s keeping me so busy that i’m unable to maintain the previous pace and attention of this blog. Nevertheless, i need to clear some cobwebs first. Those include several nasty individuals/groups and 3 are involved in disinformation roles even though they belong to various types of Knysna’s media. Today, i address the first, the Knysna-Plett Herald:
There are two probable faces to this story; the economic survival of the Knysna-Plett Herald versus their commitment to journalistic integrity for the betterment of the town they co-exist with.
The importance of the media is undeniable. Without Knysna-Plett Herald and it’s handful of journalists, there is much that we citizens would be unaware of. I also acknowledge that the newspaper is a business with a goal of running for profit.
Modern media is a tough place to exist in, especially for print media which is threatened by free website content, social media and more popular television.
In Knysna, the KPH faces even more challenges as this small town boasts too many media all fighting for the same advertizing market which has shrunk with the economic return to reality. The KPH’s low sale price of R3 and opposition to placing classifieds with them (from Action Ads to Gumtree) further hampers their ability to offer comprehensive news with a respectful quotient of investigative journalism.
This brings us to the other side of the story where Knysna-Plett Herald’s coverage is both intentionally and unavoidably imbalanced.
It’s easy to understand ‘tabloid’ style reporting which relates news after it’s happened rather than digs for it. Someone gets shot – that’s news. A toddler gets run over – that’s news. Sensationalism is practically impossible to avoid when the human condition craves for something to shock its mind out of the immunity and insensitivity that’s being broadened into their neural pathways. That’s the “unavoidable” part.
I gave you a long intro so that my naysayers and doomsayers don’t negate the blog by stating that i’m being unfair by not looking at the bigger picture. Then again, the naysayers tend to avoid almost everything i write in lieu of personal attacks or blinded, emotional defence of my targets.
After all that i’ve said about the unfortunate predicament the newspaper may find itself in, i still question their agenda and morality. THE KNYSNA-PLETT HERALD’S IMBALANCED REPORTING AND EXCLUSIONARY NEWS SUGGESTS PROPAGANDA AND THAT ADVERTIZING REVENUES ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN TRUTH AND INTEGRITY.
I am news. That’s simple fact, not arrogance. Whether you’re a supporter, critic or enemy, my nickname, “Wicked Mike” has travelled much of town. It’s possible that i put more content on the web last year than anyone else in Knysna – i have increased Knysna’s internet footprint. I’ve websites servicing Knysna for free. I’m the only one to call the DA on their lies. I intentionally composed controversial letters of complaint to Helen Zille. I denounced the motives of both the ANC and the DA because neither had put Knysna first. The Knysna Chamber of Business approached me to be quiet. I broke the story on Plett’s double municipal manager fiasco and more. I brought a story to the KPH about a woman being robbed and sexually abused by a Knysna cop. I brought them my tale of attempted murder and consequent police misconduct. I was the sole public voice against Shaun van Eck, Knysna Tourism’s ex-CEO for 20 months – and i was right far more than i could’ve known.
In a city, this would have been news. How could the Knysna-Plett Herald, a newspaper for the small town that Knysna is, not have mentioned me the past 2 years when far smaller news items are regularly mentioned? I approached Knysna-Plett Herald many times. Why did they ignore everything from acts of charity to activism?
I believe that it was because of the Shaun van Eck issue. The Knysna-Plett Herald chose to side with the then CEO of Knysna Tourism. Was editor Heidi Vogel looking to safeguard advertizing revenues from that quarter? Or is she, like reporter Fran Kirsten, possibly a friend of Shaun van Eck. After all, Fran Kirsten’s reporting has shown damn bias on the issue (and she was allowed to). No matter what is said in her articles, you leave with the feeling that Shaun van Eck has been wronged. No matter the gravity of the charges against him, the millions of (KNYSNA’S) money that was misspent or ‘misspent’, or the weight of the people deciding against him, Shaun van Eck’s the poor man who had to cancel his family’s annual holiday.
Before my few loud enemies twist this blog away from all the points and into a diversionary attack on my ego, note that we learn best through our experience. Opinion should be the “personal’ seeking facts of understanding. And what i’ve experienced raises a helluva lot of questions in my mind simply because it doesn’t make any sense unless there’s bias.
I’ve held my tongue for a long time with regards this newspaper (and other local media) in the hope that we’d one day share understanding. Today, when i saw one of my intended ‘protagonists’, anonymous blogger, Conrad Zeelie, post lies about me and my association with the Tourism Board (again, ignoring all the facts and the real issues), as a comment on their article online, i decided no more. After all, this same commentator, anonymously, recently posted numerous lies about me on 2 threads at GardenRoute.com’s forum. I have to treat it seriously as last time there was an anonymous commentator on a KPH Shaun van Eck article, Fran Kirsten quoted it (even though it was the only comment), to substantiate her next Shaun van Eck scribble.
To summarise with one, reiterated point: I approached Knysna-Plett Herald with the Shaun van Eck story in 2011. I approached them first. If they had been real journalists, they would have investigated. And investigation would have had them fulfill their media role as the fourth estate (which is to be our safeguard against those that abuse power). They chose propaganda. We are poorer for it. Opinions are easy but losing money isn’t. They failed me. They failed you too.
PS: I realize that my comment section will be far less active yet i’m insisting that only real people comment. After all, even if we use different approaches to one another, we are seeking the truth. Thanks for your support.