Monday, May 30, 2016


Dear Readers,
Caxton's Terry Moolman
          The latest edition of the Johannesburg based Sunday Times carries a revealing special report supplement to celebrate its 110th anniversary.
          In it the current Editor Bongani Siqoko tells us: “We have brought down to earth the most powerful for exploiting the poor and the downtrodden of our country.”
          That might have been in the past but is that what’s happening now?
Why has his paper ignored a deplorable scandal that without a doubt is “exploiting the poor and downtrodden of our country” and has been bringing big business handsome profits for years?
The Sunday Times even has it own Consumer Watchdog Megan Power who writes a column each week.
To make matters worse it’s been there for all to see week in and week out effectively bringing the morality of newspapers in general into disrepute.
Under the heading of Herbalists the daily newspaper The Citizen is coining it with advertisements from people fraudulently calling themselves doctors, professors and all kinds of other experts. They promise the poor and uneducated miracle cures, instant wealth and a host of other dubious ways to improve their lives.
All for a price of course.
Even the Editor Steven Motale agreed with me TWO YEARS AGO (citizen's dubious ads) that these advertisements were not believable, but his paper has never stopped churning out these lies.

          Money takes preference over morality at this publication that has a daily circulation of 51 000. Surely by taking ads from fraudsters the paper is just as culpable because it is aiding and abetting them to rip off the unsuspecting, especially when the paper knows that what it is printing is NOT TRUE.
No wonder the South African Editor’s Forum (SANEF), which claims to be “committed to encouraging ethically driven media”, says on its website that the newspaper industry around the world “is often maligned for its lack of integrity.”
Well with papers like The Citizen, that doesn’t even believe in the veracity of everything it prints, you can understand why this industry has that unenviable reputation.
Needless to say as far as I know not a single member of SANEF has done anything to try and stop this immoral practice at The Citizen. In fact when I tried to get comment from this upholder of free speech I got a rude brush off (questionable ethics).
The Sunday Time’s anniversary supplement might have inadvertently provided the answer as to why neither the Sunday Times, nor SANEF or any other newspaper in South Africa has yet had the guts to take The Citizen to task for so badly bringing down standards in the industry.

            Caxton Printers in Johannesburg is the largest single-site print factory in the country, it revealed. “In total, 103 different products, including some 10 daily newspapers and six weekend newspapers are printed at the site,” Jaco Koekmoer, 
CEO of Caxton Cold Set was quoted as saying.
          “These include the Caxton owned The Citizen, as well as many of its free community newspapers, in addition to the daily and weekend newspapers the company prints on behalf of other publishers, such as the Times Media group, owners of the Sunday Times.”
          He said that while they had previously printed supplements for the Sunday Times they had been printing the main body of the paper for the last three and half years.
          So that’s why the Sunday Times and every other paper in South Africa together with all their editors find The Citizen’s lucrative blight on the media is far too hot to do anything about.
          It is even being ignored by the South African Advertising Standards Authority (ASA), a media finance body, that once told a judge that “Publishing misleading  advertising is intrinsically harmful to consumers” and that it was “only the ASA that monitors the advertising industry as a whole and responds to complaints speedily and effectively.”
          So “effectively” that it also lies because when I submitted complaints to it about these dubious ads in The Citizen it refused to consider them (ridiculous asa).
          I have no doubt that if a different kind of business was being run contrary to the public interest the Sunday Times would not hesitate to set its investigation reporters onto it in keeping with its motto: The paper for the people.
Siqoko claimed in that anniversary report that his paper “will remain non-aligned.” But no doubt that does not apply in the case of The Citizen because they are all in bed together.
And those who sleep together stick together.
Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman who exposes media LIES when nobody else will.  

P.S. In the past I tried to get comment from secretive media baron Terry Moolman, Caxton’s majority shareholder, but I got nowhere. (caxton bosses duck dubious advertisng issue)                                                                                         

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