Thursday, May 7, 2009

A new president for South Africa

Ever since the election, the mood amongst South African white people has been quite sombre. It seems there is a vloud hanging over them. Coming from Europe I guess I can appreciate the sentiment however this is not Europe now, is it? Mr Zuma certainly has had quite a battle on a number of fronts to get to where he is. His tenacity has served him well and I only hope he applies the same tenacity to his new role.

Mr Zuma will be inaugurated on Saturday - I have been covering some of the parliamentary swearing in ceremonies at the Union Buildings earlier today and security is high. Not least of which because of the attendance of Robert Mugabe on Saturday - posters are already flying around Pretoria in protest.

While Mr Zuma's appointment was pretty much a given even prior to the election, what remains to be seen is his choice of cabinet. Whether or not he appoints people based on merit will be the first indication of the medium-long term future of South Africa. Wonkie cartoons had some interesting suggestions on the Zuma cabinet - South Africa 2009. If Mr Zuma wants to start with a bang, he has an opportunity now to get rid of the dead wood in a number of departments - I hope he takes it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Back to the blog

The last couple of months have been great from a personal development point of view - I met and interacted with many interesting people in my travels across South East Asia - in particular some buddhist monks and a Rinpoche left quite an impression.. more about this later though - I've also been invited to write as part of a group blog on spirituality in the West.

It seems somewhat peculiar to return to South Africa after a long stint of this sort - with all the violence, crime and corruption (although I cannot say I am surprised that the NPA dropped charges against Jacob Zuma) - after all it was predicted last year already that this would happen. I'm glad to see that Wonkie cartoons was runner up in 2 categories in the South African blog awards .. well deserved and sorry I couldn't add my vote from the Himalayas! LOL

Anyway, I shall be posting some of my photos up over the next couple of weeks - need to acclimatise to Pretoria once more before I do anything else!

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Blogs vs Factual reporting

There appears to be a number of interesting debates going on with many media heavyweights across the globe including the BBC regarding the use of new technology in reporting. Notably twitter and other micoblogging services. The issues are two-fold - one is whether or not journalists and media houses should even be entertaining these unverified information sources such as twitter. The second is the involvement of journalists in creating and maintaining their own blogs leading to dilution of true news reporting.

Many commentators believe these journalist blogs such as BBC editor blogs and the South African Main & Guardian ThoughtLeader blogs hosted under the banner of media houses taints factual reporting with opinion. These commentators claim journalists spend too much time spicing up the content and not enough time penning the cold, hard facts. This, claim some critics is not the role of news agencies whose sole purpose should be to report facts.

I, for one as a journalist, believe that todays readers are considerably more sophisticated than those of the pre-Internet era. Provided twitter-type information sources are clearly labelled as unverified and journalist blogs offer comments based on the reported facts, readers will be better off. Critics of new technology should confine their criticism on how the technology is used effectively to promote communication of both news and opinion. It is not their place to determine what the public reader is capable of understanding and interpreting.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Happy New Year!

Back with a vengeance with 2 articles published in the Czech and the UK. The New Year has been off to a great start so far. I have to say I started this year with a lot more momentum than any other years before - hopefully it will be sustained. I've cast my vote already on Wonkie already about whether I'm optimistic or not for 2009 (see Vote for 2009) - it seems like most peoplle are upbeat about the year despite the forecasts of global financial doom.

I'm well on my way to producing my first article on the SA elections that are going to be held later this year. The political personalities and their backgrounds are fascinating to say the least.

On a sadder not, I was really sad at the passing of Helen Suzman... I had had the pleasure of meeting her for an interview of sorts some time back and was truly taken aback at her strength of conviction and sense of determination. Alas having seen the South African leadership's lack of backbone in addressing the Zimbabwe crisis it seems she was the last of a dying breed.

I managed to take quite a few photos over the December break as well... Prague is beautiful in the winter :) I'll post them as soon as I get my act together with copying the photos off my camera.. soon! My New year's resolution is to be a bit more stable with the photography and reporting back on my blog!