Why the Knysna-Plett Herald is a Bad Newspaper — 16 Comments

  1. Having spent several years with television news outlets in the hot years between 1985 to 1989, I understand the business well. In those days the news folk hung around together to the exclusion of most everyone else, so I got to know many of the radio and print boys as well.

    I discovered that the higher up the food chain you climbed, the more you were involved in policy. By the time you were financially reliant on your healthy paycheck, you realised the agenda you had been forced to follow was beginning to grate.

    Then that old chestnut would always rear up. “Do I walk away from this bullshit because they won’t let me report the real news? or do I stay and collect my cheque and get to carry on being a reporter, fulfilling my life-long dream”
    Unfortunately for the entire globe, most “journalists” follow the money/dream paradigm and ultimately sell themselves short, the public short and their dreams short and, in so doing lie to us all, every single day.

    It is not shooting the messenger at all, the messenger shot herself to begin with. If we are to get real news, we should be exposing the reporters’ lack of candour and shame the rag that directs this kind of travesty.
    To my mind the journo trade has become one big fraudulent exercise and the true ideals of journalism are lost forever in the hidden veils of propaganda.

    • HA! The moment after I posted the above comment I opened up an email from a friend, here it is: Oh the coincidence machine is hard at work.

      by Zen Gardner

      “I’m sick of hearing how we can influence mainstream news and media. Stop the damned grovelling! When will people wake the hell up that personal conscious awareness has nothing to do with what has been accepted in the approved mainstream slurry of popular thought?

      Fuck, it’s idiotic!

      Is everyone under a goddamned spell? Does nothing become manifest until the media mantra endorses it? Think about it! What really becomes real to most people before they get the mainstream word on it? Be honest. Is it a drug? A crime story? A flu outbreak?

      People depend on the mainstream story, made up statistics, spin, illusions and omissions like it’s their life! Until they get that signal they’re not sure what to think. It’s absolute mass insanity!
      The Masses are Living in a Hypnotic State

      People are locked in to thought patterns. It’s been sculpted by social engineers and reinforced by false education, drugs and adulterated food and water for decades. If you don’t believe what I’m saying go somewhere else.

      But it’s goddamn true.

      Very nasty controllers are manipulating humanity and have done so for a long time. If you can’t see it yet, please keep looking. I don’t mean to blow you away with grand pronunciations, but if you’re looking around this site and others’ writings you’re apparently ready.

      The way of mass control concerns techniques started millennia ago. It’s quite simple. If you’re a group of “advantaged” entities you would have an interest in farming those around you for your benefit. Oh, so benign appearing, but really with one selfish goal in mind.

      Your benefit.

      And everything would feed into that. The others are simply “fodder” which you’ve benignly let live and allowed to have fed. For your benefit of course, until some of them start to realize what’s happening to them.

      Now look at history. Isn’t that exactly what’s happened, even if you look at the watered down version? The same controllers come out on top over and over and extol their wonderfulness to the world. “Can you believe it, the wars kept making the world more manageable for potential central control? How convenient!”

      This is where we are at. A world jerked around by manipulated public opinion rather than conviction. And why no conviction? There aren’t any facts to process. There’s nothing of value to process except the vaporous crap they give us.

      “What happened to the other arrested men at Sandy Hook? What happened and why with WTC building 7? Why no surveillance footage from the newly installed system at Sandy Hook or the myriad of cameras on the Pentagon on 9/11 or the Oklahoma City bombing scenes? Confiscated? Why?” Such bullshit for the ages!

      Are you starting to get it? A great gulf is fixed between reality, and the projected false reality.

      Which will you fall for? Or allow others to fall for?

      Have a conscience. Do something.

      Snap out of the hypnosis and live a true life. It’s all you really have.

      And scream about it!”

      Love always, Zen

      • Brilliant!!! Great read.

        In the immortal words of Homer Simpson: “Marge, it takes two to lie. One to lie and one to listen.”

        On this blog, the loudest critics attack with disregard for the truth. They’re not debating. They’re intent on maintaining the status quo in this town…and that status quo benefits the minority. People allow the banks, media, the DA, the ANC and fear to rule them as if there’s nothing they can do about it. Fear promotes ignorance. Fear dis-empowers. They use democracy as a meaningless word instead of an action and a right. We’re the majority. We can change the current reality. As a majority, you no longer have to be scared of unemployment, crime…every evil that our “democratic leaders” have perpetuated because, if they hadn’t, they’d have led us out of it. Be a participant in the half a billion budget running through our town. If just 100 local businesses stood together (for example), against the crimes being committed against us, the face of our town would change for the better.

    • Hear hear! A salary isn’t an excuse. If it were, it’s the same as saying, “Let’s give up. I believe that the bad people should win. After all, i’m going to help them win with my silence. That silence includes me never complaining again about things i have no intention of changing.”

  2. Mike while I understand your point of view, I don’t think pointing fingers at the Hereld journalists does any justice, especially targetting Fran Kirsten in particular. Being an old friend of Fran’s (since she moved to Knysna in 1994), I can vouch upon the fact that this “crooked journalist” smear campaign is not only inaccurate, but also a blatant attempt to name a scape goat for a much deeper routed problem.

    Fran has been heavily involved with charitable organisations within the Knysna community for many years, raising 100’s of thousands of Rands for abused woman and children hosting the now legendary Ladies nights during the Oyster festival. I might add that she did this for little to no pay, with no personal interests invested what so ever.

    We also need to take into account that as a journalist she has both a sub-editor and an editor to report to, who play a massive role in terms of what stories she is asked/allowed to report on. The poilitcs this work place dynamic bring on is easy to miss when considering who to flame as a reader.

    I understand your frustrations, but unfrotunately I feel that you are unfairly shooting the messenger here. In fact, I would go as far as saying that you choose to target her because she is the journalist whose name appears the most within each edition of the paper, and you have very little understanding of the actually organisational structure of the Hereld.

    While I actually really enjoy your blog (and what you’re trying to acheive for the greater good of Knysna), I ask you to please be a little more responsible with your writing, or at least try gather more hard facts before dipping your toes into the e-coli filled slander lagoon. After all, us old locals have seen many new locals such as yourself sheepishly fall off their soap boxes over the years.

    • It is incredibly easy to comment as an anonymous person. I was specific in saying that commentators had to reveal themselves to me. You chose not to which removes validity. You could be Fran but i will allow you this once:

      1. You ignored the main issue in defence of Fran Kirsten, clouding it with other topics. The fact is that it was Fran i approached the most. She did nothing.
      2. If you are telling the truth that it is the policy of the newspaper to choose agendas and be prejudiced, then Fran should have addressed that issue with the paper. Failing that, she should have reported them. A real journalist would’ve done an expose.

      Personally, as bizarre as it may sound, i immediately liked Fran a lot. She is one of several people in Knysna i’d like to have gotten to know better but that does not excuse her actions and non-actions. It does not excuse the KPH for being biased. It does not excuse her for choosing to be part of that bias.

      The goal here is truth. Fran/you is welcome to share behind-the-scenes info – REAL info…things that relevant to the blog and help Knysna towards an honest future. Do that (using your real name, even if off the record) and i’d gladly embrace the better person.

      • Hi again Mike,

        I appreciate you allowing my previous comment through moderation.
        I choose to remain anonymous as I wish to voice my opinion as a Knysna local, but don’t wish to actively engage in the small town polictics which comes with revealing my identity. I hope you can respect and understand that. I promise you I am not Fran Kirsten, because I can assure you if she wanted to get involved she would confront you face to face and not hide behind anonymous blog comments 🙂

        I agree, in a perfect world Fran could’ve taken on her employers and the established newspaper which is the KPH. Realistically however, we all know how that would turn out for her. You’re asking a small town journalist to commit media suicide, basically ruining all her chances of ever writing for a newspaper again for fear that she might take the whole organisation down with another expose.

        Like I said in my previous post, you cannot soley blame Fran for the policies and (perhaps bias) agendas of the KPH. The world is rife with bias media, and I promise you it’s not the journalist’s who are the source of the problem.

        • Ok. I’ll leave it at that between us…you can have the last word on Fran.

          Please note that the path of confrontation is never undertaken lightly. It is difficult because there are always consequences (especially for me). But i believe that they have to be followed, the world rocked, so that there is a check and balance on the system which has being frighteningly in favour of a few and very rarely in favour of the public. If more people chose to speak up, our lives/our town would improve. And if enough stood together, we’d be the majority – that is a Knysna i’d love to see!

  3. Group Editors is been controled by the DA. There are sooooooo many issues which Group Editors which i have brought to the attention of Group Editors in George and Knysna but they have refused to publish same because most the issues implicate the DA in maladministration.

    • Politics is an utter mess on the Garden Route. I point fingers at all parties but it’s noticeable how the KPH has dodged certain issues. I’d certainly be interested to know how much the Knysna Municipality spent on adverts last year. You should take it further. There are higher levels to approach such as the Press Ombudsman. They can also be pressurized with continuous scrutiny, submission and documentation of such. Personally, i hope for resolution of my issues (they get that opportunity first – but it’s notable that i’ve yet to receive even a ‘friendly’ call acknowledging my complaint).

    • Press Code:

      3.1 The press shall not allow commercial, political, personal or other non-professional considerations to influence or slant reporting. Conflicts of interest must be avoided, as well as arrangements or practices that could lead audiences to doubt the press’s independence and professionalism.

  4. All newspapers have an agenda, besides a financial one. The financial agenda of everyone, from bloggers to MSM, to Indies on the net, is not going to go away, even they have to have dough to survive. Some allow it to sway their content here and there and some don’t, but the real core issue here is their socio-political agenda.

    Research who the owner of a “newspaper” is and find out what they are about, and there, you’ll have the agenda of that outlet. Every time. Without fail.

    Forget the editors, the “journalists” or the staff, look to the owner and their affiliations.

    • I hear you. One of the most respected newspapers in the world is The Washing Post yet it’s owned by the Moonies cult. In a local context, i have had complaints about the KPH’s political bias in Plettenberg Bay i.e. favouritism towards the DA even when though the DA has been criminally irresponsible there and cost the public unnecessary millions. BUT, because i’m in Knysna, my home, the town i’m mad about, i have repeatedly given KPH chances. Even this morning, i addressed Nicole Moolman, their operation’s manager at Group Editors with “KPH can look to the future or get bogged down. I’ve yet to go to higher bodies simply because i love this town and would much rather have a positive relationship but KPH has to take their first step towards that. Hit the ball back.” The fact is that every opportunity, they chose not to be journalists. They need to strike a balance between revenue and fairness.

  5. Thanks for your thoughts on this topic. Small town politics are dirtier than we all realised, especially if there is a million rand budget to play around with. I actually found the whole topic extremely boring and never read any of the KPH articles- only your opinions have been worth reading so far. Fran K actually writes quite well, and I have appreciated her stories on the health of the Knysna lagoon and the mass pipefish deaths in 2011. Other articles which court big money- are more obviously shallow and motivated by greed. sometimes I even look to see if it isnt actually an advert disguised as an article. For example-ConradPezula attracting big spenders to Knysna was a boring article as it did not touch on the illegal goings on at Noetzie.

    • Small town politics are as dirty as i realized but the relief is that this town is amazing and hosts amazing people too i.e. worth fighting for.

      Fran was certainly the Queen of the Poo articles. She went for that topic with a vengeance.

      Regards Pezula, i wanted to give the new partners the benefit of goodwill. The move was good for our town. That doesn’t mean that they mustn’t deal with Noetzie conservancy issues. The opposite. They must stretch PR to all parties. It’s a chance for new beginnings which all should take. Hopefully Noetzie has submitted a new report to the Hilton powers that be.

      • yes, other more polite and patient people are doing their best, but still nothing has changed- the commercialization of Noetzie continues- including CoradPezula shoo-ing members of the public off “their” section of the beach, serving alcohol, overflowing sewers, blah blah blah. It makes NO difference. They have money, and attract money so everyone lies down and says” break the rules- thats fine you can do whatever you like”. In the meantime the sense of place and the environment is being slowly buggered up for good.

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