Sunday, October 18, 2020


 Dear Readers,

         The Johannesburg based Sunday Times has introduced a new and very odd version of the BBC quiz show Pointless that is screened on our DStv.

         And what’s more it is the brain child of the relatively new Editor S’Thembiso Msomi, who writes a column in the paper every week. He took the very courageous and unusual step of giving his personal email address in his column. Did he think this through before revealing it? Had he lined up the necessary members of staff to help him deal with a possible avalanche of emails?

         Well if my experience it anything to go by it turned out to be completely POINTLESS.

I sent my first email on 21/9/2020 suggesting he included a certain story in his paper. And when I got no reply I repeated it on 30/9/2020 adding: “I wonder if you ever got this?” Again I got no reply. So last week I phoned the paper in an effort to speak to the Editor.

         It turned out that the Virus is so bad there that it’s a nightmare to find somebody to answer a phone. How you expect a newspaper with declining advertising sales to survive these days Mr Editor when you make it so difficult for anybody to speak to any member of your staff, is beyond me. Great news stories that could boost your paper’s circulation considerably could be passing you by daily. But that’s another story.

         Eventually I got hold of a reporter. I told him briefly what my problem was and he said he would pass it on to the Editor, who was expected to come in shortly. I gave him my telephone number. Well I’m still waiting to hear from the Editor. If he didn’t get my emails the least he could have done was to phone me to say so.

         In keeping with the theme of the Sunday Times’ version of the game my emails and telephone calls all turned out to be POINTLESS.

         Perhaps S’Thembiso your courage will extend to including this post in your column next week, if you ever see the email I am sending you with the link to it.


         Jon, the Poor Man’s Press Ombudsman and former Sunday Times investigative journalist in the days before COVID-19, when they didn’t play POINTLESS GAMES.


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