Written by: Gideon Joubert
Allow me to tell you a little cautionary tale regarding the media.
So, News 24 runs this headline. It creates the impression that a whole lot of people are of this particularly strong opinion. Upon reading the article, you will notice that it is in fact only one farmer who said this. And by all appearances in her personal capacity. She did not state that she speaks on behalf of anyone else. There were about three other farmers quoted as saying that they aren’t particularly keen on the Oros Man for various reasons, but that was about it.
A non-existent sample size by any measure. If someone interviewed four farmers who all happen to be pro-Isuzu, only an idiot would conclude that all (or the vast majority of) farmers prefer that particular brand and model over all the others.
Regarding Preline Swart. She is also no ordinary farmer. She is the Vice Chairperson of Grain SA. The Chairman of Grain SA (Jaco Minnaar) also sits on the board of directors of Agri SA. So it is probably accurate to assume the two organizations have a fair amount to do with each other.
Now, Agri SA was in the news recently regarding their supposedly sensitive “talks” with the president pertaining to the land debate. Their Policy Head of Labour and Development (Jahni de Villiers) also recently got involved in a Twitter punch-up with Chris Chameleon when he rubbished her (and Agri SA’s) claims that the so-called “Afriforum List” of farms to be expropriated was fabricated by them.
Adriaan Basson and News24 were all over that story like mud on a pig, and when the list was subsequently revealed to be credible he and his media house merely changed their angle of attack.
Now, when I saw this headline today and became more than a little suspicious about what lay behind it, I started digging. This is the result thereof. It certainly looks like Adriaan Basson and News24/Media24 have unhealthily cozy relationships with certain NGOs, such as Agri SA and Grain SA, and are willing to punt their talking points at the expense of the truth.
When factual reporting is blatantly sacrificed on the pyre of pure propagandism like this, it utterly destroys the credibility of the journalist and publication in question. Giving airtime to only one side of any debate and ignoring or ridiculing the opposing side isn’t impartial journalism.
What it is is dishonest. And it insults the intelligence of its readers.
I have been vehemently critical of Afriforum’s conduct in the past, and I am not a shill for any person or organisation bar ones I openly identify with. Think of them what you will, but don’t let it blind you to the fact that you are being deliberately deceived by the largest media house in the country as we speak.
If they are lying to you about this, then they are lying to you about a whole lot more.