[Stephen Grootes] Good communication is priceless. When something is communicated badly, there is a cost to be borne. On Friday our currency bore that cost. It dropped 2% simply because of one announcement, that turned out to be about a shiny new design for our currency. A good idea communicated badly is as good as dead.
[Stephen Grootes] On Tuesday, 31 January 2012, in front of the Press Freedom Commission's members, the ANC had its say. Parts of its submission make you think the ANC is paranoid, and parts make you think it has a serious point.
[Stephen Grootes] It's interesting to note that at a time of increased hostility towards the media in general, and the print media in particular, newspapers would be celebrating one of their greatest victories. It hasn't been put like this yet (and it may still be this Sunday), but surely one of the headlines that could have rung out in the wake of Monday's series of announcements by President Jacob Zuma is "Sunday Times claims Minister, Police Commissioner"
[Stephen Grootes] President Jacob Zuma has announced a big shakeup in the premier spin-doctoring role in the country. From now on, the old-generation stalwart Mac Maharaj will be the voice, the public visage of the president. What an interesting choice.
[Stephen Grootes] This year, various ANC politicians have accused the media, and journalists generally, of being skiving gits. Of being people with no moral code, who'll do anything for a story. Of being people who think they are above the law, who don't care about ruining other people's lives. Unfortunately, a court judgment is now going to give them plenty of ammunition. And worse, the court judgment, from what we can see, is absolutely correct.
[Stephen Grootes] There seems to be a lot of frightening legislation doing the rounds, which naturally means some drafts don't get the attention they deserve. But, not to be alarmist or anything, you need to have a look at the proposed new law on public broadcasting. Seriously.
[Stephen Grootes] A joint indaba between the South African National Editors' Forum (SANEF) and Government this past weekend yielded some surprising results - the most important of them being a call by the deputy president for cooler heads. If only that had been the case from the very beginning.
[Stephen Grootes] What is it with Cosatu and Zwelinzima Vavi these days? On the one side, the striking nurses senselessly walk past a patient in clear need of help, and on the other, Cosatu comes out with the most sensible suggestion yet on how to proceed with changes to the current media regulatory system.
[Stephen Grootes] The big questions behind Wednesday's melodramatic arrest of Sunday Times journalist, Mzilikazi wa Afrika, cast an ominous shadow over South Africa's fragile grip on democracy.
[Stephen Grootes] As any divorcee will tell you, falling out of love sucks. You understand that life as you know it is about to come to an end. It is how most journalists feel when they read the proposed Protection of Information Bill. So we have to ask, how did it come to this? How did it happen?